Ten SNP Fails Since 2007

Alex Salmond steps down as First Minister today. He’s made a significant impact on Scottish politics, but we can’t forget his Government’s record. Here are ten SNP fails that have happened on his watch.

1. Since the SNP took power, public services have been under pressure. In our schools, 4,000 teachers have been lost from our classrooms…

The SNP have cut pre-school, primary school and secondary school spending in real terms since 2007.

This has meant 4,000 teachers lost from Scottish classrooms since Alex Salmond became First Minister.

2. …and in our hospitals, A&E waiting times have gone up…

A&E waiting times are not being met - in March 2014 only five of Scotland’s health boards achieved the waiting time standards of 98% of patients seen and admitted, transferred or discharge from A&E within 4 hours.

In June, the Chairman of BMA Scotland compared the crisis in Scotland’s NHS to a five year long “car crash”, saying “What I have seen over the past five years is the continuing crisis management of the longest car crash in my memory.”

3. …while FE and HE cuts have meant that poor students have been hit the hardest.

During Alex Salmond’s time as First Minister, there has been a 37% decrease in college student numbers. As a result 140,000 people have lost out on going to college.

At universities in Scotland, low income students receive the lowest amount of grant in the UK and we now have the lowest percentage of university entrants from the poorest background and the lowest proportion of entrants from state schools in the UK.

4. In our communities, local policing has been cut…

The SNP have closed local courts and 61 police front counters across Scotland, effectively taking local policing away from many of our communities.

The centralisation of the police force also led to armed police attending routine incidents, a policy that Police Scotland had to reverse after pressure from the public and the Scottish Labour Party.

5. …house building is at its lowest since 1947…

Under the SNP Government, in 2013 the lowest number of homes were built since 1947. House building in Scotland is now 43% less this year than when Scottish Labour left office in 2007.

This means that thousands of people every year are unable to find a home, or are trapped in expensive rented accommodation.

6. …and child poverty has increased.

Despite saying that tackling child poverty was a “central mission” of his Government, during Alex Salmond’s time in Government the number of children living in poverty has increased. Between 2011/12 and 2012/13, 30,000 more children were living in poverty.

Under Scottish Labour, Scotland led the way across the UK in reducing child poverty. But this year, we lost our place as the nation of the UK with the lowest levels of child poverty.

7. But that hasn’t stopped Alex Salmond spending taxpayers’ money on trips and luxury hotels and then trying to hide it…

Since he became First Minister, Alex Salmond has spent taxpayers money on trips and hotels. Earlier this year, it was revealed that he spent £3,000 on four nights in a luxury hotel suite during his trip to the Ryder Cup in Chicago. In total, £80,000 has been spent on hotel rooms and subsistence alone for Alex Salmond and his ministers since he became First Minister in 2007.

The First Minister even charged the taxpayer £250 for a pair of tartan trews during a visit to China.

8. …just like he tried to cover up his lie about EU legal advice…

In one of the most important issues of the Scottish referendum - whether Scotland would continue to be a member of the EU - Alex Salmond said that he had legal advice when he actually had none.

Month after month, he claimed to have legal advice on EU membership. And he even went to court and spent taxpayers money to try to hide the fact that there was no advice.

9. …then again, he’s not been the most diplomatic First Minister.

In 2012, Alex Salmond refused to meet the Dalai Lama and personally reassured the Chinese Ambassador that the trip had nothing to do with the Scottish Government. He later said that he had raised human rights abuses in China in a “friendly” way during a trip to the country.

Salmond also admitted that he “admired” Vladimir Putin and had “a sneaking regard” for Nigel Farage.

10. All change?

Alex Salmond steps down today, to hand over to Nicola Sturgeon who has been his deputy for the past decade and Deputy First Minister since 2007.

Scotland has been on pause for the past two years and Scots have been let down by two governments with the wrong priorities.

The SNP will try to change, but real change will only come to Scotland with a Labour Government in May 2015 and a Scottish Labour Government at Holyrood in 2016. Join us.

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