For 15 years, it has been nothing but failure after failure from the SNP 👇
1. The SNP have presided over the worst A&E waiting times on record. In the week to 9 January 2022, just 67.4% of attendances at A&E services were seen within four hours, the worst figures on record.
2. 73% of GPs are worried they cannot provide care for patients due to their workload. A survey by RCGP Scotland revealed that 73% of GPs are worried that mounting workloads will negatively affect their ability to provide care for patients.
3. Nearly 2,000 children and young people have been waiting over a year for mental health treatment. The number of children and young people who had been waiting over a year to begin treatment for mental health problems at the end of September 2021 stood at 1,978. This was a 106% rise on the number who had been waiting over a year to begin treatment in September 2020.
4. Diagnoses of early-stage cancer in Scotland have fallen to the lowest level in a decade. For people with breast, colorectal or lung cancer, just 24.1% were diagnosed at the earliest stage (stage 1).
5. In the SNP’s NHS there is a record shortfall in the number of nurses and midwives. There was a record shortfall in the number of nurses and midwives in Scotland at the end of September.
6. Figures show the Scottish Ambulance Service is failing to meet the average target response time in every category. The longest waiting time in each classification is way beyond safe levels.
7. The Royal Hospital for Young People and Children [Sick Kids Hospital] in Edinburgh opened nine years late. Construction flaws cost the taxpayer at least £23 million while the hospital was not in use.
8. Drug deaths have tripled under the SNP’s watch. In 2020, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland. This was 5% more than in 2019 and the largest number since records began in 1996. It is almost triple the 455 recorded in 2007 when the SNP came to power.
9. The NHS maintenance backlog is over £1 billion. The most recent figures show that the maintenance backlog in Scotland’s NHS is more than £1.03 billion.
10. The SNP failed to protect elderly residents in care homes during the pandemic. The SNP Government completely failed to protect our elderly and vulnerable residents in care facilities at the start of the pandemic, resulting in thousands of families grieving the loss of a loved one. In total, 113 Covid-positive hospital patients were sent to care homes at the beginning of the pandemic. A further 3,061 were not tested at all prior to discharge.
11. The SNP have missed targets for lifesaving cancer treatment. Ministers had set the target of 95% of cancer patients beginning treatment within 62 days. However, between July and September 2021, only 83.1% began their treatment in this timeframe. This is down on 87.3% in the same period in 2020.
12. The SNP failed to prevent a number of avoidable deaths at Scotland’s largest hospital. In September police launched an investigation into the deaths of Milly Main, two other children and 73-year-old Gail Armstrong at the QEUH hospital. The investigation could lead to a fatal accident inquiry or a criminal charge.
13. The SNP failed to ‘eradicate’ delayed discharge as they promised. In 2020/21 358,426 days were spent in hospital by people awaiting discharge, despite Health Secretary Shona Robison promising to eradicate delayed discharge in 2015.
Humza Yousaf is failing Scotland's NHS👇 pic.twitter.com/U08s8cSxem
— Scottish Conservatives (@ScotTories) January 21, 2022
14. There are now fewer university students from the poorest backgrounds. Figures published by UCAS show just 14.4% of soon-to-be Scottish students will come from the poorest areas of Scotland – the lowest that figure has been since 2016.
15. The SNP’s tax rises mean that Scots pay more income tax than any other part of the United Kingdom. Scotland’s income tax bands start lower and have higher rates than the rest of the UK. All earnings above £25,297 in Scotland are taxed at 21%, compared to the rest of the UK, which taxes 20% on earnings between £12,571 and £50,270. Earnings above £43,663 are also taxed at 41% in Scotland – while in the rest of the UK the 40% tax rate starts above £50,000.
16. Scotland has recorded its lowest PISA scores on record for maths and science. In the PISA rankings, Scotland’s maths score dropped to a record low in 2018.
17. The SNP withdrew Scotland from international league tables for education. The SNP withdrew Scotland from both the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Professor Lindsay Paterson has claimed that the level of educational data available has been contracting throughout the SNP’s time in power, and that removal of educational data is a developing trend under this government.
18. There are 332 fewer schools. ELC schools have decreased by 72, from 2,702 in 2007 to 2,630 in 2021. Primary schools have decreased by 167, from 2,168 in 2007 to 2,001 in 2021. Secondary schools have decreased by 21, from 378 in 2007 to 357 in 2021. Special schools have decreased by 72, from 183 in 2007 to 111 in 2021.
19. The pupil-teacher ratio is still higher than when the SNP came to power. Despite pledging to decrease class sizes in their 2007 manifesto, the pupil teacher ratio in 2021 was 13.2, compared with 13 in 2007.
20. The percentage of school leavers going on to positive destinations is falling. The percentage of school leavers going on to positive destinations has fallen since 2018-19. In 2019-20, 93.3% of school leavers went on to positive destinations compared to 95% in 2018-19. This year’s figure is the lowest percentage since 2014-15.
21. Sturgeon broke her promise to close the attainment gap. In the 2021 results, the attainment gap is wider than it has been in any year since 2017. The percentage point difference in A-grade attainment levels between the most-deprived and the least-deprived pupils is 22.1% this year, which is higher than any year since 2017. The percentage point difference in A-C attainment is 7.9% – up from 6.5% in 2020.
22. Two thirds of schools have not been inspected for five years. Two in three schools haven’t been inspected for at least five years, and one in four haven’t had an inspection for over 10 years. 1,685 schools haven’t been inspected for between five and seven years, 558 schools haven’t been inspected for eight to ten years, and 704 have waited more than ten years for an inspection.
23. Thousands of children are on long-term absence from school. Research by the Commission on School Reform has found that from 2016-17 to 2018-19, 8,542 pupils were absent from school more than 50% of the time. This represented a 17% increase in the two years since 2016-17 and coincides with an increase in waiting times for CAMHS. Speaking about this research, chair of the Commission Keir Bloomer stated, ‘We are talking about nearly 10,000 children who are off school more than they are in school; not receiving the education they need, not receiving the job training they need…Our education system needs to be adapted to offer better monitoring and support to children and parents at risk of long-term absence’.
24. Scotland has the lowest spending per high school pupil in the UK. In 2019-20, Scotland spent the least per head at secondary school level in the UK. In 2019-20, Scotland spent £571 per head at secondary school level. England spent the most with £709 per head, Wales spent £639, and Northern Ireland spent £604.
25. There are 1,519 fewer teachers in Scotland than when the SNP came to power. In 2007, there was a total of 55,100 teachers in Scotland. While in 2021, there was a total of 53,581 teachers in Scotland. This is a decline of 1,519 teachers under the SNP Government.
26. The SNP were forced to scrap the SQA due to exam failures. Sturgeon scrapped the SQA, despite saying that she had ‘full confidence’ in it just a short while beforehand.
27. The 1,140 hours of free childcare pledge was implemented a year late. Sturgeon finally implemented the 1,140 hours of childcare policy in 2021 one year after it was supposed to be brought in. However, the 1,140 hours of childcare policy was in doubt even before Covid-19 hit.
28. Early learning and childcare teacher numbers halved since the SNP came to power. ELC teacher numbers have been cut from 1,689 when the SNP took power, to just 729 today.
29. The SNP were forced to abandon their failed named person scheme. Despite it being common sense that this scheme was both unworkable and deeply unpopular, the SNP pressed on with its implementation until they were finally forced to withdraw the legislation following a Supreme Court ruling that the scheme would breach human rights laws.
30. The SNP’s ‘Flagship’ Education Bill was abandoned. The SNP had to abandon their Education Bill despite calling it a flagship policy. Sturgeon had said that ‘A new education bill will deliver the biggest and most radical change to how our schools are run that we have seen in the lifetime of devolution.’ However, she has now refused to introduce this bill, and the new reforms planned are far more minor than originally promised.
31. The SNP are taking forward their controversial school sex survey against the wishes of councils and parents.Even SNP councils are refusing to conduct the controversial Health and Wellbeing Census. The SNP Government are facing a widening backlash from Scottish local authorities, including two SNP-led councils, over the controversial survey. Around 10 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have now refused to take part in the survey, while three others are making substantial changes.
32. The SNP wasted £97,850 of taxpayer’s money defending a Bill in court they deliberately drafted to be flawed.The vast legal bills were accrued defending the UNCRC Bill which judges in the UK Supreme Court ruled was deliberately drafted in a way so as to exceed the competences of the Scottish Parliament.
33.The SNP wasted £7 million of taxpayers’ money on cars for government ministers. Research revealed that almost £7m had been spent on the Scottish Government car services which gives the First Minister’s Cabinet a fleet of 41 chauffeur-driven cars at their disposal. The number of cars has almost doubled from 24 in the 2010/11 financial year to 41 in 2020/21.
34. The SNP spent over £1.3 million on car trips – despite declaring a climate emergency. SNP ministers ran up a record bill for car journeys in 2019-20, despite Nicola Sturgeon declaring a climate emergency. The SNP’s car spend is a rise of over £150,000 above inflation since 2006-07.
35. The SNP are failing to ensure Scotland’s future energy needs are met by refusing to allow new nuclear power stations to be built against expert advice. The University of Strathclyde questioned whether the SNP’s embargo on new nuclear power makes any rational sense. Its policy brief said: ‘Does the Scottish government’s current embargo on any future nuclear new build on Scottish soil make any rational sense? Nuclear has, after all, proved itself to be a relatively reliable source of low carbon base load over many decades.’
36. The SNP abandoned the Scottish oil and gas industry, putting 100,000 jobs at risk and making the country more reliant on foreign imports. Nicola Sturgeon confirmed to Parliament that she doesn’t believe the Cambo Oil Field should go ahead even though this project would protect thousands of Scottish jobs. This is another desperate bid from the SNP to please their radical Green coalition partners. Nicola Sturgeon also refused to rule out joining the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, bankrupting the oil and gas industry.
37. SNP broke their promise to create a national energy company. The not-for-profit company would buy its energy on the wholesale market or generate it in Scotland – from renewable sources. Nicola Sturgeon admitted to MSPs in June that her government had ‘not done well enough’ in generating energy and harnessing the economic benefits. This comes after ministers spent £500,000 of taxpayer funds.
38. The Deposit Return Scheme has been delayed multiple times.The recycling scheme was initially supposed to launch in 2021 but the launch date was first pushed pack to July 2022 because of the pandemic, and now even further to August 2023. Lorna Slater blamed Covid, Brexit and the UK Government – but not herself or the Scottish Government – for the delay. This is another addition to the SNP’s long list of failures and broken promises.
39. Less than half of Scottish waste is recycled. Official figures have revealed that just 42% of rubbish was sent to recycling in 2020. Statistics show that the proportion of Scotland’s recycled waste has also fallen in the last year, down around 2.9% compared to 2019, and is now at the lowest level since 2013.
40. The amount of waste incinerated in Scotland has doubled since 2011. The total quantity of waste incinerated in Scotland in 2019 was 1.23 million tonnes, an increase of 0.52 million tonnes (72%) from 2018, and an increase of 0.82 million tonnes (199%) from 2011.
41. The SNP are leaving a £640m black hole in funding for decarbonising buses. The cost will likely fall on the operators that have already been hurt by the pandemic.
42. The SNP missed their own legal emissions targets for the last three years in a row. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a 54% reduction from the baseline period (1990) to 2018, and a 55% to 2019. However, emissions were only reduced by 51.5% by 2019 and by 50% by 2018. In 2017, the target was set at 43.956 MtCO2e, which was brought forward by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, while emissions reached 46.410 MtCO2e.
43. The SNP missed their renewable heat target. Figures released by the Scottish Government showed that only 6.4% of non-electrical heat demand came from renewable sources by 2020, against a target of 11%. In fact, the Government has gone backwards since 2019, when 6.6% of non-electrical heat demand was produced from renewable sources.
44. The SNP ‘ignored’ an 11-year-old warning from the head of CalMac about the perilous state of Scotland’s lifeline ferries. SNP Ministers were warned 11 years ago by the head of CalMac of the need for urgent investment to arrest the decline of the nation’s lifeline island fleet. Since the SNP came to power, the average age of Scotland’s essential vessels has soared from 17 years to 23.6 years. Back in 1974 the typical ferry was just 13 years old.
45. Two future CalMac ferries are to be built in Eastern Europe instead of Scotland. It is nothing short of humiliating for the SNP that Ferguson Marine shipyard, which they nationalised, has now lost out on work to Romania, Poland and Turkey.
46. The SNP botched the delivery of two new CalMac ferries. The ferries were originally due to enter service on the Arran and Skye/Outer Hebrides routes in 2018/19. Yet the vessels are now scheduled to be delivered in mid-2022 and in early 2023. The vastly over-budget cost of the ferries is estimated to be between £110 and £114 million.
47. Ahead of the SNP’s nationalisation of ScotRail, hundreds of rail services a day are being cut. The SNP Government plans to nationalise the rail network from May 2022 after a failed franchise with Dutch operator Abellio. ScotRail announced that there will be 2,150 services a day from May 2022 – a cut from the 2,400 services a day before the pandemic.
48. The SNP have been forced to end their failing ScotRail contact three years early. Transport Secretary Michael Matheson announced in December 2019 that Dutch firm Abellio would be stripped of its contract to run Scotland’s railways after years of delays and cancellations. Abellio had been running the franchise since 2015 with the contract originally due to run out in 2025, it will now end in March 2022.
49. The SNP failed to deliver on their promise of 130,000 green jobs by 2020. The SNP made a promise in 2010 to deliver 130,000 green jobs within a decade, but by 2020 only a little over 20,000 people had been hired.
50. The SNP have failed to make a commitment to upgrade our vital rural roads, such as the A9 and A96. After entering into a coalition with the Green Party, SNP Ministers have failed on numerous occasions to give a straight answer as to whether plans to upgrade the A9 and A96 will go ahead despite committing to the projects in their manifesto.
51. Pre-pandemic, violent crime had been rising for five years. Non-sexual crimes of violence have risen by nearly 50% since 2014-15, from 6,272 to 9,316 in 2019-20 meaning over 3,000 more violent crimes have been recorded in that time. In the last year alone, there was an 18% rise in homicides.
52. The SNP’s 2016 manifesto promised £1 million a year for a victims’ fund but in two years it hasn’t even delivered a fifth of that. The SNP’s 2016 manifesto stated: ‘We will implement the remaining provisions of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, including establishing a Scottish Victims Surcharge Fund, paid for by offenders, which will provide more than a million pounds a year of funding for practical help for victims of crime.’ The latest Victim Surcharge Fund report from the Scottish Government confirmed that the fund had only provided £157,000 to victims’ groups so far despite the scheme operating for nearly two years.
53. Nicola Sturgeon broke her promise on ending automatic halfway release for criminals. During First Minister’s Questions, Sturgeon said ‘Our objective remains to end the policy of automatic early release completely as soon as we are able to.’ However, former SNP Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has since said ‘Abolishing automatic early release for short-term prisoners is not the right thing at all.’
54. There are nearly 650 fewer local police officers since the SNP’s police merger. ‘Divisional’ officers are the core local resource who patrol streets and respond to calls. 12 out of 13 local divisions have fewer of these officers since Police Scotland was first created, with a total cut of 643 officers across Scotland since 2013, when the SNP merged Scotland’s police force. The numbers exclude specialist officers who are shared by different divisions.
55. Thanks to the SNP’s effective ban on prison sentences of 12 months or less, more than 1,000 criminals are no longer going to jail. In 2018-19, 9,583 criminals were handed out a custodial sentence of 12 months or less. In June 2019, the SNP Government passed a presumption against short prison sentences. As a result, in 2019-20, 8,324 criminals were given custodial sentences of 12 months or less. This is a reduction of 1,259 despite overall crime rising between 2018-19 to 2019-20, from 246,480 to 246,516 and overall offences rising from 247,791 to 250,662 in the same period.
56. The SNP Government apologised to the families of Lamara Bell and John Yuill after Police Scotland admitted they failed to provide a reliable call handling system for three years after the SNP merged the force. The SNP’s Justice Secretary issued an apology over the “serious failures” in police call handling which contributed to a woman’s death after a car crash on the M9 in 2015. Keith Brown told the families of Lamara Bell and John Yuill that he was “deeply sorry” for what had happened.
57. A parliamentary inquiry found Sturgeon misled Parliament during the Salmond Inquiry. The Committee responsible for looking into this scandal found that after taking into account the competing version of events given by different people ‘the Committee believes that she did in fact leave Mr Salmond with the impression that she would, if necessary, intervene. This was confirmed by Duncan Hamilton who was also at the meeting. Her written evidence is therefore an inaccurate account of what happened, and she has misled the Committee on this matter. This is a potential breach of the Ministerial Code under the terms of section 1.3 (c).’
58. Due to the SNP Government’s incompetent handling of the Salmond case, they had to pay out over half a million pounds to him. After admitting they’d botched the investigation into allegations about Alex Salmond’s behaviour, the Scottish Government agreed to settle the judicial review for £512,250.
59. The SNP appointed Lord Advocate admitted the Crown Office maliciously prosecuted individuals involved in the Rangers takeover – costing taxpayers at least £40 million. The 2020/21 Crown Office showed that at least £40.5m has been identified as of October 2021 for Rangers related cases. Scottish Government consolidated accounts confirm that so far £39.9 million has been paid out.
60. Organised criminals have failed to pay back over £11 million that they’ve been ordered to pay. Confiscation orders are imposed on criminals who have profited from illegal activity. Freedom of information requests revealed that £11,012,703 worth of confiscation orders were in arrears. Ten criminals are responsible for £4.6 million of that alone.
61. The SNP Government gave out free mobile phones to prisoners that are being used for drug deals. According to the Scottish Prison Service, 728 have been found since August 2020 to operate with illegal SIM cards, used for drug deals and other criminal activity. This has now cost taxpayers £3.2 million – £500,000 more than initially anticipated.
62. The SNP’s Hate Crime Bill is the most controversial in Scottish Parliament history and criminalises what you say in your own home. The Bill, which has been criticised by the police, lawyers and the Scottish public was revealed to have more written responses, at almost 2,000, than any other piece of legislation in Scottish Parliament history. This surpassed the previous record of just 1,300 submissions.
63. The SNP’s hated Football Act – which was repealed after Scottish Conservative efforts – criminalised football fans and threatened free speech. A majority of MSPs voted for a motion which urged for the 2012 Act to be repealed ‘as a matter of priority’ in November 2016, citing criticism by the legal profession and stakeholders.
64. The SNP failed to implement Michelle’s Law. Michelle Stewart’s Father said that ‘zero’ action has been delivered to implement Michelle’s Law despite the SNP’s promises. He said that ‘in two years there have been no changes… I thought it was becoming law, but it has disappeared. He [Mr Yousaf] did set up a taskforce but what has it actually done? Zero.’ Humza Yousaf previously said in 2018: ‘Let me also give them [Stewart family] some reassurances about the campaign and the fact that not only are we listening to them and giving them warm words, but there will be some concrete action. I guarantee that, and I will come to that in just a second.’
65. Victim Support Scotland condemned the SNP Government for failing to implement Suzanne’s Law in their parole reforms. They said it was ‘disappointing to see the new regulations have not considered campaigners’ calls for ‘Suzanne’s Law’, which would amend the Parole Board rules to allow a prisoner’s failure to disclose the location of a victim’s body to be taken into account when deciding whether or not to grant parole’.
66. Thanks to SNP underfunding, Police Scotland are using vehicles that date back to the 1980s. The oldest vehicle in Police Scotland’s range is 33 years old, starting its life in 1989. It is one of 565 vehicles – nearly one in seven of the overall fleet – that are over a decade old. This comes as the SNP Government cut Police Scotland’s capital budget in real terms.
67. SNP underfunding has meant over a third of fire stations in Scotland are 50 years old as the SFRS admitted there’s a maintenance backlog. The Fire Brigades Union stated that some fire stations were ‘no longer fit for purpose’ as it was revealed the average age of the SFRS estate was 41 and a half years old with 35% of stations over 50 years old and 1% over 70 years old. Head of the SFRS Martin Blunden said there was a ‘significant capital backlog to maintain our buildings’.
68. The SNP have written off over a quarter of a million hours worth of unpaid community work given to criminals. There was a total cut of 262,153 hours to unpaid work hours issued as part of Community Payback Orders, a community disposal designed to be an alternative to prison. Glasgow and Fife Councils were subject to the biggest cut.
69. The SNP have failed to provide enough Covid support for businesses. Despite the SNP announcing a discretionary fund for business support in November 2021, it emerged in January this year that businesses are still waiting on the funds to be rolled out in most local authority – leaving many businesses on the brink.
70. The SNP voted against sending the very worst criminals to jail for life. Liam Kerr’s motion in parliament to support giving Scotland’s judges the power to sentence the very worst criminals to Whole Life Custody with no prospect of Parole was defeated thanks to SNP votes. Only the Scottish Conservatives voted in favour of the plans, which were set out in Liam Kerr’s Members’ Bill proposal.
71. Not a single victim has been allowed to attend a parole board hearing since SNP reforms despite dozens of requests. Since new Parole Board rules allowing victims to silently observe parole board hearings came into effect earlier this year, there have been 26 victims who have requested to attend a parole board hearing. However, every single one of these requests has been denied by the parole board.
72. The SNP handed back responsibility for benefits to the DWP. A letter from SNP Social Security Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said that Severe Disablement Allowance would continue to be administered by the DWP to avoid ‘unnecessary disruption’ and ‘unnecessary confusion’.
73. The SNP missed their target to build more affordable homes. The SNP failed to meet their target of building 50,000 affordable homes across the last Parliament, with only 41,364 affordable homes being completed from April 2016 to March 2021. Regardless of the pandemic, the SNP would not have met this target. Up to the end of March 2020, only 34,887 homes had been completed. To match their target the SNP would have had to have built 15,000 affordable homes in the next year – a build rate which they never achieved previously with 2018-19 being their previous best year at just 9,569 completions. Even if they had achieved their best build rate in every year of the last Parliament, the SNP would still have fallen short of the 50,000 target.
74. Superfast broadband rollout is five years behind schedule. The SNP’s superfast broadband rollout will not be finished until 2027, five years later than originally planned. R100 was meant to deliver superfast broadband to 100% of premises by the end of 2021. This will now be delayed by five years, with certain areas of the North not getting it until 2027.
75. The vaccine passport scheme has been branded an ‘unmitigated disaster’. The rollout of the vaccine passport scheme was rushed through despite being beset with technical difficulties and a failure to run a proper public information campaign. The result was that the scheme was launched into chaos, with Scottish Hospitality Group describing the first weekend of vaccine passport enforcement as an ‘unmitigated disaster.’
76. There has been a 20% real terms cut to local government funding since 2013. Analysis by COSLA shows that, between 2013-14 and 2021-22, there was a 20 per cent real-terms reduction in total revenue funding. While revenue funding has increased by £685 million in cash terms over this period, when additional service obligations (such as 1,140 hours childcare) are taken into consideration, this amounts to a cut in real-terms revenue funding due to the additional costs these service obligations incur upon councils.
77. There are 22,000 fewer council staff than when the SNP came to power. Last year it was revealed that council staff have been cut by 22,000 since the SNP came to power a reduction of nearly 10 per cent. In 2007, there were 230,000 full-time equivalent local government employees, but by the end of 2020 this has reduced to just 208,000.
78. The SNP are cutting local council’s budgets by £250 million. Kate Forbes’ budget delivers a £251 million real-terms cut to budgets for local authorities across Scotland.
79. Library numbers have been cut by a third since 2015. Libraries have been hit by local government cuts, with the number of librarians having fallen by a third since 2015. In 2015 there were 306 full-time equivalent librarians – this plummeted by 32 per cent to just 208 in 2021.
80. The SNP failed to sell Prestwick airport. The Scottish Government nationalised the airport in 2013, and announced they were looking to resell in June 2019. At present, they have failed to sell the airport more than two and a half years later.
81. The SNP have broken their promise to end council tax. The SNP’s 2007 manifesto stated: ‘The SNP will scrap the council tax and introduce a fairer system based on ability to pay. Families and individuals on low and middle incomes will on average be between £260 and £350 a year better off. Nine out of ten pensioners will pay less local tax.’ To this day council tax remains in place in Scotland.
82. The SNP were too slow to re-open mass vaccination centres in response to the Omicron variant. The Scottish Conservatives re-iterated our call for mass vaccination centres to be re-opened in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant but had called for their re-opening prior to that. It was not until mid-December, a long-time after the Scottish Conservatives had called for action, that the SNP opened up mass vaccination centres.
83. The SNP wasted £52 million propping up BiFab. The Scottish Government provided loans of £37.4 million and £15 million. The company later went into administration and although two of the yards have now been sold, the Scottish Government has not recovered any money from this sale.
84. Former SNP Finance Minister claimed nearly £150K after having to resign in disgrace. Since February 2020 Mackay has claimed £14,192 in parliamentary expenses while sitting as an absentee MSP, most of the claims related to rents for his constituency office and an Edinburgh flat; £64,470 – as he continued to receive his basic MSP salary; £11,945 – for loss of Ministerial Office; automatic resettlement grants of £53,725 after he ceased to be an MSP. This means Mackay was paid a total of at least £144,332.
85. Six in ten nurses are thinking about quitting. A recent survey from the Royal College of Nursing has shown that six in 10 nursing staff are thinking about leaving their job. The survey confirmed that 41% of nursing staff are considering leaving, while 20% are actively planning on leaving.
86. The SNP are wasting over £8 million on overseas offices. The SNP Government budgeted £8,139,000 on employing 52 members of staff in eight hubs across the world in the 2021/22 financial year. This is despite foreign affairs being a reserved matter.
87. The SNP Government put half a billion of taxpayer’s money on the line over the GFG Alliance’s purchase of Lochaber Smelter. As part of its agreement with Liberty Steel, the Scottish Government agreed to buy electricity from the hydroelectric dam in the event Liberty cannot. Liberty Steel is owned by GFG Alliance, whose main creditor Greensill Capital went into administration in April 2021. Total exposure is £586 million of taxpayer money.
88. The SNP failed to deliver on their promise of limiting class sizes for the first three years of primary school to 18 pupils. The SNP made their promise to do so in their 2007 manifesto, but 13 years later the average class size for primary schools was 23.1 pupils.
89. The SNP missed a statutory target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 placed a statutory duty on the Scottish Government to eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland ‘as far as is reasonably practicable’ by November 2016, but this has not been met. According to Energy Action Scotland 25% of Scottish households lived in fuel poverty as defined by the Scottish Government.
90. The SNP’s IT system for delivering Common Agricultural Policy payments was tens of millions of pounds over budget and not fit for purpose. The original business case estimated IT delivery costs of £50 million. This increased to £80 million in the revised business case in March 2014, and further increased to £129 million by April 2015. The overall original business case for CAP delivery was 75 per cent over budget. The original estimate was £102 million, increasing to £128 million in March 2014 and £178 million in April 2015. Audit Scotland said, ‘we do not expect the [CAP delivery] programme to deliver value for money’ and that it will not deliver the additional benefits planned. The report said, ‘the £178 million budget was meant to deliver a CAP compliant model, plus some business and customer enhancements’ and ‘the programme will deliver less scope than the enhanced business case option, but at the same cost.’
91. The SNP failed to meet its target of banning biodegradable waste from being sent to landfill by 2021. The deadline for introducing the ban was pushed back to 2025 as suitable arrangements for dealing with waste after the ban had not been put in place.
92. The cost of the A90 Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route spiralled out of control. In 2012, Transport Scotland forecast the cost of building the AWPR project would be £703 million, later revised to £745 million. In 2005 the Scottish Government forecast that the project would cost £295-395 million.
93. The new £1.3bn Queensferry Crossing opened eight months late. The construction programme was meant to conclude in December 2016 but the bridge did not open until August 2017.
94. The wait for Edinburgh tram inquiry has now taken longer than the Chilcot Inquiry. Alex Salmond pledged the process would be ‘quick and thorough’ when he established it in June 2014. Nearly eight years later the report has still not been published.
95. The SNP broke their promise to achieve 30,000 modern apprenticeship starts per year by 2019. Their 2016 manifesto said: ‘We will increase the number of modern apprenticeships to 30,000 a year by 2020.’ But before the pandemic began, in 2019-20, there were only 29,000 apprenticeship starts in Scotland, of which less than 28,000 were modern apprenticeships. 27,875 were modern apprentices and 1,160 were graduate apprenticeships. And in a written answer to Maurice Golden, Jamie Hepburn said: ‘Pre Covid-19 and in keeping with the Scottish Government’s commitment to grow apprenticeship opportunities the target was increased to 30,000 for 2020-21. However, as Covid-19 continues to present unprecedented challenges for business across Scotland it is clear we will now not meet our ambitious target of 30,000 apprenticeship starts this year.’
96. The number of police officers in Scotland has hit its lowest level since the formation of Police Scotland. The latest statistics show that as of 31 December 2021, there were 17,117 full-time equivalent police officers across Scotland. This is the lowest figure recorded since March 2009.
97. More than £30 million in public funding was written off after two failed investments in wave energy companies. Scottish Enterprise will see no return on its £15.2m investment in Aquamarine Ltd which went into liquidation last year after failing to make wave power commercially viable. Scottish Enterprise also admitted it had lost £16.3 million invested in Pelamis, another tidal energy firm. This was the biggest write-off in the agency’s 25 year history.
98. The SNP are failing to protect Scotland’s biodiversity, with nearly half of all species in decline. According to the State of Nature report in 2019 by NatureScot 49% of all Scottish species are decreasing in abundance.
99. The SNP attempted to cover up their loss of a £10 billion Chinese investment. The SNP initially kept quiet about an £10 billion investment deal with a Chinese consortium – the deal was signed on 21 March 2016, before the election purdah period, but was not officially announced until early April after reports appeared in the Chinese press. The deal collapsed when Chinese companies pulled the plug on the deal. A senior insider close to the negotiations said the deal was badly received in China, where it was called ‘The Scottish shambles’.
100. Scotland’s lochs and rivers are in the worst state on record. According to SEPA, 410 of Scotland’s lochs, rivers, canals and burns are damaged by pollution.
101. The SNP are failing to build enough electric vehicle charging units. The Committee on Climate Change think tank have said Scotland will need 30,000 charging points by 2030 when the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be phased out. At present the Scottish Government have only committed to doubling the number of charging points, which is currently around 2,100.