Douglas Ross blasts SNP record as he launches strategy to boost economy and public services

By Democrat reporter

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross will today [Tuesday] launch a stinging attack on the SNP’s mismanagement of the economy and public services in a keynote speech outlining his party’s strategy for growth.

Mr Ross will say that individuals and businesses must be shielded from further crippling tax rises when he spells out his alternative vision to generate revenue to invest in health, education and transport.

He will unveil the Scottish Conservatives’ ‘Grasping the Thistle’ economic strategy in Edinburgh this morning which includes the following key recommendations:

  • Economy: drive delivery via Joint Economic Board with ministers from both Scottish governments  
  • National Workforce Plan: align skills in education system with needs of businesses and employers  
  • Make Scotland competitive: reduce taxation for all and build tourism and export infrastructure  
  • Regional clusters of excellence: backing export winners with economic development funding    

On SNP failures he will say:The Scotland we live in today is unsustainable – despite the efforts of hardworking staff, our essential services are on their knees, reeling from one winter crisis after another.

“None of us can afford for things to go on as they are, we need solutions to the big challenges that Scotland is facing, so we cannot have yet another Programme for Government in the Sturgeon mould.

“Tinkering around the edges for its own sake and focusing on divisive niche issues will not improve the lives of working families. Instead, we need to see real action.”

He will add:I am sick and tired of the SNP whining that they do not have the financial levers at their disposal to make a difference. Humza Yousaf has a £60billion budget at his disposal and total control over our devolved public services.

“Scotland deserves a government that is focused on the real priorities of the Scottish people. If we do not act now, then we risk leaving a poorer Scotland to the next generation.

“As a father to two young boys, that makes me worried for their future. But as a politician it would be a dereliction of duty if I did not act.

I say ditch the nationalist independence campaign and lead a national government for all of Scotland. Abandon the constitutional fights with the UK Government and work with the rest of our country.

“We need to focus on the big challenges we all face – not on the narrow political interests of a few.”   

Turning to his ‘Grasping the Thistle’ economic strategy, Douglas Ross will say: “Raising taxes is a short-term play, it chokes off future growth and revenue.

“As Scotland’s only party of the centre-right, we have a different solution, that we will argue for.

“That is why the Scottish Conservatives are today publishing our plan to grasp the thistle and grow Scotland’s economy – because economic growth should be put firmly at the centre of our national political agenda.

“With a growing economy, we can better fund our essential public services and deliver real improvements. With a growing economy, we can keep household bills low by reducing tax. And with a growing economy, we can create good, well-paid jobs and better opportunities for the next generation.

“The prize of a wealthier more prosperous Scotland is there; we just need to do the long-term planning and hard work to seize it.”

Pam Gosal, the Conservative List  MSP  for West Dunbartonshire, welcomed the initiative. She said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Scottish Conservatives team tasked with seizing the potential of a more prosperous Scotland.

“Economic growth is vital to funding our public services, reducing household bills & creating well-paid jobs. Our ‘Grasping the Thistle’ strategy will lead us there💷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
May be an image of 1 person and text that says ""The Scottish Conservatives have a plan to take Scotland's economy forward, with realistic solutions focusing on the real priorities of the Scottish people" Douglas Ross MP MSP Scottish Conservative Leader FOCUSED ON SCOTLAND'S REAL PRIORITIES Scottish Conservative &Unionist"

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