Politics

Nicola Sturgeon announces four-day working week plans in SNP manifesto

Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to pilot a four-day working week in Scotland if she is re-elected next month.

The First Minister promised a £10 million fund to support firms that are willing to trial the benefits of working less during the week.

Sturgeon said her government would use the lessons learned from the pilots to shift to more general four-day week, however it’s all dependent on Scotland gaining full control of employment rights.

The SNP leader revealed her party’s plans for the next parliamentary term earlier today at a manifesto launch event from her house in Glasgow.

Launching her party’s manifesto, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Before the pandemic struck, many people were already worried about work-life balance.

“We want to do more to support people to achieve a better balance and help businesses employ as many people as possible.



SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon launching her party’s manifesto earlier today from her house in Glasgow

“As part of that, we will establish a £10 million fund to support willing companies to explore and pilot the benefits of a four-day working week.”

The SNP manifesto states: “We will use the learning from this to consider a more general shift to a four day working week as and whenScotland gains full control of employment rights.

“We will also identify additional employment opportunities and assess the economic impact of moving to a four day week.

“More widely, we will support a review – in partnership with trade unions and businesses – of how working practices could and should be adapted to meet the needs of the future economy.”



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The First Minister announced a number of other new plans, from health to income tax, as she looks to secure your vote ahead of polling day on May 6.

Parties across Scotland will be announcing their manifestos and what they would do in power if elected throughout the corse of the next week.

Sturgeon is expected to remain as First Minister, however it’s her mission to secure an overall majority in the Holyrood chamber.

During the SNP manifesto launch today Sturgeon announced a number of new policies that may affect you if she is re-elected.

Here are the ones you need to know about:

Income tax

The SNP has pledged to not increase the amount you pay on your income for the course of the next Scottish Parliamentary term – the next five years.

Therefore, whatever percentage you pay on the money you earn the tax you pay won’t increase from 2021 to 2026, if the SNP is re-elected.

The manifesto reads: “While it is important for any government to have flexibility to respond to a change in circumstances, our aim is to maintain current Income Tax rates for the duration of the parliament and increase thresholds by a maximum of inflation.”

Schools

If you have children then the SNP is promising to give every school kid in Scotland a device, including free broadband and advice on how to use it.

Every primary school pupil will be given a free breakfasts and lunches all year round. The SNP has also proposed piloting provision for free breakfasts in secondary schools.

For less well off families the SNP will ensure families do not face costs for curriculum related trips and activities.

The SNP is also looking to buy every kid a bike if they can’t afford to do so.

Bus travel



Under plans from the SNP all under 22 year olds will get free bus travel across the country
Under plans from the SNP all under 22 year olds will get free bus travel across the country

The SNP is keen for us to use public transport more in order to help the environment amid the climate crisis.

Under its plans everyone under the age of 22 will be eligible for free bus travel throughout the country.

Removing dentist charges

If re-elected the SNP vow to abolish dentistry charges across the country.

The manifesto says: “We have made great strides in improving dentistry access, but if re-elected we will now improve access further by abolishing all NHS dentistry charges over the course of the parliament.

“We will start the roll out with care experienced people aged between 18 and 26.In removing NHS dental charges we will engage with theBritish Dental Association, and others, to learn from the experience of the pandemic to help shape a reformed funding arrangement for NHS dentists so that they are supported for the future.”

Housing

If you’re struggling to get on the housing ladder then the SNP is looking to deliver around 100,000 affordable homes by 2032.

By doing so it could create more than 14,000 jobs across the country.

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