An opportunity we can’t afford to miss

Anas Sarwar smiling

I firmly believe that Scotland’s best days lie ahead of us.

As I travel around our country, I am reminded every day of the passion and talent of people in every part of Scotland. We are an extraordinary nation that contributes so much to the rest of the UK and the world.

But I also hear from people and businesses who are frustrated and angry after being let down by their governments for so long.

Families are struggling to put food on the table or heat their homes, they can’t access a GP and are left waiting months for a hospital appointment, and they are worried about opportunities for their children and grandchildren.

Fourteen years of chaos under the Tories, and 17 years of failure under the SNP, have diminished hope, created division, and shattered opportunities.

People are fed up with politicians who focus only on their own priorities and put party before country.

They fear this is as good as it gets. But I refuse to accept that.

We can change our politics.

Anas Sarwar looking at phone with a man

By changing our politics we can move on from the chaos of the past few years.

Labour will bring back honesty, decency, and integrity to public life, and restore ambition and optimism. We will be a government that is always on the side of the people of Scotland.

Turning fear into hope, conflict into co-operation, and despair into opportunity.

We can change our country so that Scotland is a place where everyone is entitled to dignity, with our country back on a route to prosperity, and where young people once again have hope for the future.

This election is an opportunity to deliver that change for this generation – and the next.

Yes, a vote for Scottish Labour is a vote to change Scotland for you, your family, and your community.

But it is also a vote to give all young people in Scotland a more hopeful future.

In the pages of this manifesto we outline the change that Labour will deliver if we have the opportunity to serve the people of our country.

We have six first steps for change. These ambitious pledges are the cornerstone of Labour’s plans to transform our country and deliver a decade of national renewal, boosting wages, cutting bills, strengthening our economy, and renewing our public services.

  • We will deliver economic stability to grow our economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages low.
  • We will cut NHS waiting times by investing in our NHS and funding 160,000 additional appointments every year in Scotland, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and non-dom loopholes.
  • We will set up GB Energy in Scotland, a publicly-owned clean power company, to create good jobs and cut bills for good, paid for by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.
  • We will make work pay with a New Deal for Working People that will ban exploitative zero-hour contracts and deliver a genuine living wage for 200,000 Scots – the first step to tackling poverty, which is in the very DNA of our party.
  • We will create jobs and opportunities for young people by improving access to apprenticeships, supporting first-time buyers, and creating 69,000 Scottish jobs in the clean energy industries of the future.
  • And we will maximise Scotland’s influence using the UK’s footprint on the global stage to promote Scottish businesses, boost exports, and attract investment to create jobs.

A Labour government in Westminster will have Scotland at its heart, working to deliver the change our country needs.

We will work in the national interest, building a respectful relationship with the Scottish Government and resetting devolution so that it works for all the people of Scotland.

But change for our country is a two-step process. It starts with a vote for Scottish Labour in the general election so that we can turn the page on Conservative chaos, elect a Labour government at Westminster led by Keir Starmer, and have Scottish MPs at the heart of that government.

But there is so much more that we want to do with the powers of devolution as well. We need a change of direction at Holyrood as much as we need one at Westminster.

The SNP has failed the people of Scotland – breaking our NHS, ruining our once world-leading education system, and tarnishing our politics by wasting and misusing your money. A complete failure to deliver economic growth which has left public services in crisis.

The second step towards the change that Scotland needs is at the next Scottish Parliament election, when we have the opportunity to fix the SNP’s mess by electing a Scottish Labour government.

We are starting that work now.

This manifesto recognises that voters want to know about the changes a future Scottish Labour government would make within the devolution framework. We have set out our vision to save our NHS, grow our economy, and give young people opportunities for the future.

This election is a key moment in our nation’s history. The choice is more of the same or change with Labour.

I know that Scotland has extraordinary potential just waiting to be unlocked. Labour will unlock that true potential. We have worked tirelessly so that our party is ready to serve you again.

This manifesto sets out the journey to a better future for Scotland for you, your family, your community, and the next generation of Scots.

With your support, it is a future we can build together.

Anas Sarwar

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party