The SNP have been very vocal about stating that having a second referendum was a manifesto commitment for them and that they have a mandate to carry it out. While this is debatable given that public support for their referendum is so low, now only 29%, it is worth looking at the other SNP promises that have been left on the backburner while they throw much of their time and resources behind trying to divide us once again.
Earlier today, Nicola Sturgeon called upon the UK Government to take action to stop energy bill prices rising even further. However, the SNP previously promised to create a state-owned National Energy Company for Scotland, with the stated aim of bringing energy prices down to as close to cost as possible. Now we need it more than ever, but the project has been scrapped.
Probably the most infamous broken promise is to replace the Council Tax. This pledge was promoted right at the heart of the SNP’s 2007 election campaign, when the party first came to power. Fifteen years later and the Scottish Government has still to replace the tax, which SNP candidates clearly campaigned against, saying it was unfair and out of date.
At last year’s election, new bikes were promised to children whose families could not afford to provide them. Earlier this year an FOI request revealed that fewer than 1,000 kids across Scotland have benefitted from the scheme, despite it costing close to a MILLION pounds.
The SNP also promised a new laptop or device to every child in Scotland, in response to the clear digital divide that was amplified at the height of the Covid pandemic. The latest figures available show that fewer than 1 in 5 have actually received one.
We were also promised that policing budgets would be protected for five years. Barely a year later, and the severely damaging cuts were announced, not only to the police budget but also that of our court system.
All of these are promises that responded to public concerns at the time, were widely promoted to win votes in elections and then have been deprioritised by the Scottish Government in favour of preparing for an unwanted, and unlikely, second referendum.
Perhaps those running the Government should be looking again at those manifesto commitments and promises instead of being focussed on the one that barely anyone now wants.
Pamela Nash is Chief Executive of Scotland in Union