- 20 October 2015
Local SNP MSP, Bob Doris recently attended the SNP Conference in Aberdeen. He was joined by around 3,500 delegates from across Scotland as the Party fired the starting pistol for the race to the Scottish elections next May. Bob was joined by hundreds of delegates from across Glasgow, including many from local communities across the north of the city.
The Conference highlighted a number of commitments by the Scottish National Party, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP pledging 50,000 additional affordable homes and more flexible enhanced child care. Bob, who is the SNP candidate in the Maryhill and Springburn constituency in the upcoming Scottish elections, co-sponsored two successful resolutions - one on protecting public services and another on a fairer Scotland.
(See Bob Doris MSP's Parliamentary Patter column in The Genn for further information)
Following the Conference Bob said: "I was delighted to gain the overwhelming support of SNP delegates at conference for my resolution which backed the Scottish Government's increase on NHS expenditure from £9billion to £12billion, as well as welcoming an additional £151million to maintain teacher numbers and tackle educational inequalities. Whilst the 10% real terms cut to the Scottish Government's budget at the hand of the Tories since 2010 has been tough, it is important that the Scottish Government continues to do all it can to support public services.
"The Scottish Government doesn't seek to just mitigate UK cuts; we want the powers to develop a fairer society. Fairer on benefits, fairer on taxation and fairer on how we spend the wealth of Scotland. These powers should sit with the Scottish Parliament. I am certain if they did we would not see the draconian benefits sanction regime currently being pursued by the UK Government, nor would we see 250,000 Scottish families targeted for tax credit cuts which are pushing them deeper into poverty. I am delighted the SNP conference unanimously backed a resolution which supported Scots having the power to shape and influence such matters themselves in order to tackle the poverty and inequality that blight too many in our communities".
2 PROTECTING PUBLIC SERVICES
Conference welcomes the decisive actions taken by the Scottish Government to protect and invest in Scotland’s public services; increasing health expenditure in Scotland to over £12bn for the first time, providing over £51 million of investment to maintain teacher numbers and committing £100 million over 4 years to tackle educational inequality and raise attainment for Scotland’s young people.
Conference condemns the UK Government’s relentless austerity drive, slashing the ScottishGovernment’s budget by more than 10% in real terms since 2010.
CAROL MONAGHAN MP
BOB DORIS MSP
17 FAIRER SCOTLAND
Conference commends the Scottish Government’s current discussion with the people of Scotland on building a Fairer Scotland which aims to discuss how they want to achieve a healthier, happier country where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally. Conference welcomes the Scottish Government’s approach in directly asking Scotland’s citizens what their priorities are and thanks those people and organisations which have taken part. Conference agrees that building a fairer Scotland and tackling inequalities goes hand in hand with
supporting a strong economy with more and better jobs and protecting our public services.
MHAIRI BLACK MP
BOB DORIS MSP
Parliamentary Patter column in The Genn:
Having recently returned from the SNP Conference in Aberdeen, it was great to see thousands of our delegates - many of them from north Glasgow – united in the campaign for an SNP Scottish Government in 2016. The message was clear; we reject Conservative austerity and we will fight for the fairer Scotland we all want to see.
For my part I co-sponsored two successful conference resolutions, one on the Scottish Government protecting public services such as health and education and the other, welcoming the Fairer Scotland consultation run by the Scottish Government. This consultation held several events, including ones held in Possilpark and Royston- both of which I attended. The basic premise is that if Scotland had the powers to design our own benefits system, taxation system and so on, how would be choose to use them, and in doing so ensure we promote fairness and equality and give dignity to our communities - unlike the current UK system which deliberately targets them.
Nicola Sturgeon committed a future SNP Government to building 50,000 new affordable homes. That is on top of the 30,000 we are already building. On nursery education we will build on increased hours for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and by 2018, every nursery in Scotland's most deprived areas will have an additional qualified teacher or childcare graduate. More significantly the Scottish Government will act to ensure parents can opt to take their available hours of childcare to better suit their working patterns. Helping to support the families I represent across Glasgow.
Together with several other positive announcements, the SNP is seeking to map out the kind of society we all want to see - despite limited powers and UK cuts. Being a mass membership party in Glasgow and across Scotland has helped us in that task. With over 114,000 members, this has allowed us to speak for Scotland more loudly and clearly than ever before. That’s all in stark contrast with Labour who unfortunately remains in disarray. This was best displayed recently when their shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP told a Labour conference that Labour would support Tory austerity plans in the House of Commons, only to be challenged by our SNP MPs who made it clear the SNP was elected on a platform of opposing austerity and would vote against austerity measures. Labour then u-turned seemingly opposing austerity and indeed Labour, then opposed it in a House of Commons vote apart from some Labour MPs who still voted for austerity. I hope readers understand all that, as Labour clearly do not.
It has been both cringe-worthy and sad to see Corbyn’s Labour tie itself in knots as a party divided and without a clear direction. For instance, Corbyn opposes Trident, as does the SNP, but many of Labour MPs support it including Maria Eagle MP, their Shadow Defence Secretary. Labour has also passed a policy paper at their party conference in support of Trident. Sadly the only thing Corbyn and Labour seem united on is in opposing the full range of powers that need to come to Scotland to fully deliver the fairer and more socially just Scotland that our people wish to see. That is why it is vital that the SNP are re-elected as our Scottish Government in May next year. As our candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, it would be an honour to be part of that but only if local communities place their trust in me.