SNP plans to stop Brexit and protect whisky

The SNP want to reduce tax on whisky sales, close tax avoidance loopholes and invest oil and gas revenue into building greener infrastructure

In the 2019 manifesto, the Scottish National Party (SNP) have put the main emphasis on preventing Brexit and holding a second Scottish independence referendum.

As a major export, the SNP said it would ramp up efforts to protect the whisky industry.

The manifesto stated: ‘MPs campaigning prevented a tax raid on Scottish whisky and the SNP is now fighting to protect the sector’s EU protections. We will oppose any trade talks with the US until they drop the new tariffs on Scotch whisky.

‘Scotch whisky is one of our most iconic products, supporting 41,000 jobs across the UK, many of them in remote rural areas in Scotland, and generating nearly £5bn in exports for the Scottish economy in 2018.’

Tax fairness

The SNP also looks to clamp down on tax avoidance and exploitation of tax loopholes in legislation.

‘SNP MPs will back improvements to tax collection and tougher action on tax avoidance, including a review of the closure of HMRC offices in Scotland and across the UK, immediate action including reform of Companies House, to uncover the beneficial ownership of Scottish limited partnerships and measures to improve the transparency of tax paid by international companies, to ensure that they make a proportionate contribution to tax revenues,’ the manifesto said.

The SNP also said they would support ‘multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from the digitalisation of the economy, further action by the UK government to tackle international tax avoidance and the full implementation of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering directive and a fit for purpose online retailer tax’.

Brexit

The SNP are strongly against Brexit, especially a leave with no deal.

The first minister of Scotland and SNP Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘A vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

‘The Tories left the SNP budget £1.5bn lower in real terms than it was at the start of the decade.

‘We say enough; it is time for Scotland to be treated fairly.’

The manifesto said: ‘Brexit threatens catastrophic harm to almost every area and sector of Scotland’s rural economy. The SNP is clear that the best option for Scotland’s rural, coastal and island communities is to stay in the EU.

‘We will continue to do all we can to resist the UK government grabbing devolved powers over farming or fishing or attaching strings to any future funding, and to prevent Scotland’s interests being used as bargaining chips in future negotiations with the EU or in any future trade agreement.’

Funding Green Infrastructure

The UK Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that oil and gas revenues will be worth £8.5bn over the five years to 2023-24.

The manifesto sets out plans to invest revenues from oil and gas if they can be ring-fenced for Scotland into the Scottish National Investment Bank to ‘unlock’ additional resource for emissions-reducing investment through a Green Growth Accelerator combining public and private investment to in cities and regions.

The SNP: ‘will demand that 12% of the fund – at least £1bn over five years – will go to a Net Zero Industrial Strategy to help diversify the economies of oil hubs like Aberdeen, Falkirk and Shetland’.

Parental Rights

The SNP plans to increase parental rights in terms of maternity, paternity, adoption.

In their Manifesto they said: ‘We would increase the provision of paid leave for both parents and promote shared parental leave. Building on models successfully introduced in Scandinavia and, in particular, Iceland, we will seek legislation to increase maternity leave to one year, set maternity pay at 100% of average weekly earnings for the first 12 weeks, then 90% for 40 weeks or £150, whichever is lower.

‘We would also increase paternity rights by increasing the statutory weeks allowed as well as the weekly rate of paternity pay [statutory] to 100% of average weekly earnings for one week then 100% for two weeks or £150 (whichever is lower).’

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