Nicola Sturgeon promises to free up £118bn public investment in SNP manifesto


Nicola Sturgeon will set out a plans to free up an extra £118 billion of public spending UK-wide over the course of the parliament when she launches her party's General Election manifesto this week, according to the SNP.

The proposals will form part of a "responsible and credible" fiscal plan to grow the economy, safeguard public services and protect household incomes, the party said.

The SNP said it would aim to balance the current budget by the end of the Parliament in 2021/22, stabilise net borrowing at the level it was at before the financial crash and see debt begin to fall as a share of GDP from 2019/20.

It said its ideas will be a "credible alternative" to proposals from the Conservatives and Labour.

Speaking ahead of the launch in Perth on Tuesday, SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said: "Now more than ever before, we need strong SNP voices to stand up to the Tories - and stand up for Scotland - at Westminster.

"Both the Conservatives and Labour's economic plans at this election have unravelled already under scrutiny from the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies), which has confirmed that a vote for the Tories is a vote for more cuts.

"The SNP manifesto will set out a clear alternative to continued Tory austerity - and the unnecessary, ideological and self-defeating cuts that have held back the economy, damaged public services and hammered millions by squeezing family budgets.

"We will not follow the Tories in their blind pursuit of a pre-election surplus to spend in five years time, or Labour in their reckless plans to hike taxes without knowing if they will secure any additional revenue.

"The SNP will put forward a responsible and credible fiscal plan that will free up an additional £118 billion of public investment to grow the economy, safeguard our public services, protect household incomes and put the UK's finances back on a stable footing.

"If that money was rightly spent on public services and supporting low-paid households, it could inject a further £10 billion over the next parliament into spending in Scotland.

"The Tories' plans have nothing to do with strong public finances and are all about their desire to cut benefits, cut pensions and shrink our public services like the NHS and the police . It is only the SNP that can keep the Tories in check."