29 April 2019

Responding to Nicola Sturgeon’s speech, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“Nicola Sturgeon is more interested in uniting her party than uniting our country.

“There was no attempt justify the SNP’s new policy to scrap the pound as soon as possible, a move which would ramp up austerity and force hundreds of thousands of families with mortgages to gamble their house, pensions and savings on an untested new currency.

“Instead of harnessing the powers of devolution to tackle poverty, she is intent on using her time in office to stir up support for a referendum that a majority of the country does not want.

“Scotland now has a clear choice of £70billion worth of investment with Labour to boost our public services and wider economy or another decade of austerity with the SNP and the Tories with a focus on divisive and destructive nationalism.”

On the announcement of loans for first time buyers, Richard Leonard said:

“Help to buy too often has not worked for first time buyers, and the SNP must ensure this new support goes to people who need it. The devil will be in the detail.

“Labour will reform our private rented sector and significantly increase the number of council houses we build.

“Scotland faces a housing emergency and today’s announcement is an insufficient response.”

On Nicola Sturgeon announcing a ‘climate emergency’, Richard Leonard said:

“The call for a climate emergency from Nicola Sturgeon just rings hollow.

“The SNP plan to cut Air Departure Tax by 50 per cent - a move that will massively increase emissions.

“And they have time and again opposed Labour’s call for net zero emissions “

“Labour will put environmental justice at the heart of our industrial strategy and ensure we respond to the climate emergency on the scale necessary.”

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