What are the parties offering voters at the General Election?

STV News goes through some of the main policies proposed by the SNP, Labour, Tories, LibDems, Reform UK, Alba and the Scottish Greens.

What are the seven main parties offering Scotland in their manifestos this General Election? STV News

The UK’s political parties have just days to convince the public to vote for them at the General Election.

All of the parties have released their manifestos – a document which sets out their vision for the country and the policies they want to enact.

If you’re not caught up on it all, STV News has read the manifestos and listed five key policies from the seven main parties in Scotland.

Alba

Alex Salmond is the leader of the pro-independence Alba Party.Getty Images
  • Independence

Alex Salmond’s Alba Party believes every election should be used as a mandate to begin negotiations for Scottish independence, rather than as a mandate for a referendum.

  • Oil and gas jobs in the North East

Alba wants to see more North Sea oil and gas extraction on the condition that new licences require a commitment to net zero carbon emissions.

  • Women’s rights

Alba supports women’s sex-based rights, women-only spaces and was against the Scottish Government’s gender reforms. But it does not support the UK Government’s devolved interventions.

  • Reducing energy bills

Alba is calling for the UK Government to fund a 50% reduction in energy bills. The party also wants to see VAT for household energy bills scrapped alongside a new social tariff that would see those with the least pay the least.

  • Saving the Grangemouth oil refinery

Alex Salmond wants the Scottish and UK governments to work together to raise around £60m-£80m in investment to save the oil refinery in Falkirk.

You can read the Alba Party manifesto in full here.

Conservatives

A soaking Rishi Sunak announced the General Election last month.Getty Images
  • Mandatory national service for 18-year-olds

The Conservatives want to introduce a national service scheme for 18-year-olds in the UK.

Youngsters would be forced to either serve a year in the military or give up a weekend each month volunteering, costing around £2.5bn.

  • Investment and extraction of North Sea oil and gas

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross have said they want to see more drilling in the North Sea to ensure jobs are protected. They oppose an extension to the windfall tax.

  • Spend 2.5% on defence by 2030

An increase in defence spending to 2.5% – up from around 2.3% – of GDP per year, costing the UK Government £6bn a year.

  • Tax cuts

The Tories are proposing £17bn worth of tax cuts, including another two percentage points off the main rate of National Insurance. The party would also abolish the main rate of National Insurance for self-employed workers by the end of the next parliament.

Sunak has also said the party’s “triple lock plus” means people will never be taxed on their state pension.

  • Cutting welfare by £12bn

One of the ways the party has said it will pay for tax cuts is by further cuts to the welfare state.

The Tories want to slash benefits by £12bn, in part by making more people with mental health and mobility issues look for work.

The Conservative Party manifesto can be found in full here.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party can be found here.

Labour

Keir Starmer said Scotland would be at the heart of a Labour government.Getty Images
  • VAT on private schools but no increase to income tax, National Insurance or VAT generally

Keir Starmer has vowed to end the VAT tax break for private schools that will see them pay the 20% fee. He said that money will raise around £150m in Scotland alone.

The Labour leader has ruled out rises in National Insurance, income tax and VAT more generally.

  • Windfall tax on energy firms in the North Sea

Labour wants to introduce a limited windfall tax on fossil fuel companies. The party would raise the windfall tax from 75% of excess profits to 78%.

The extension of the current Energy Profits Levy, first introduced by the Tories, would raise just over £6bn, according to Labour.

  • Creating of publicly-owned GB Energy headquartered in Scotland

Starmer has said he would create a publicly-owned GB Energy company based in Scotland, which he said would bring a “huge number” of skilled green jobs to the nation.

  • New Deal for Working People

If Labour wins the election it pledges to increase the minimum wage, ban zero-hours contracts, end fire and rehire and remove “discriminatory” age bands for adults.

  • Right to vote for 16 and 17-year-olds

Labour will give 16 and 17-year-olds, who can already vote in Scottish Parliamentary and local elections, the right to vote across all UK elections.

The Labour Party manifesto can be read in full here.

The Scottish Labour Party manifesto can be found here.

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey wants to overtake the SNP as the third largest party in the House of Commons.Getty Images
  • £27bn public spending increase

The Liberal Democrats want to see much more investment in the UK’s public services, with a nearly £27bn investment being paid for by levies on banks, reforming capital gains tax, cracking down on tax avoidance and a new aviation duty. This would see about £1.5bn om new money for Scotland, the party said.

  • Scrap the two-child benefit cap

Party leader Ed Davey said he would scrap the two-child benefit cap and reform other welfare measures too, including the cap on the total amount of benefit one household can claim.

  • Giving 16 and 17-year-olds the vote and introducing proportional representation

The Liberal Democrats want to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote and, like in previous years, are proposing to reform the voting system to one with proportional representation, similar to what Scotland has.

  • Rejoin EU’s Single Market

The Liberal Democrats want to rejoin the EU Single Market and eventually rejoin the EU itself as a “longer-term objective”.

  • 2045 net zero target

The LibDems want to reach net zero in the UK by 2024 – five years before the target set by the Tories and Labour.

The Liberal Democrats manifesto can be read in full here.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto can be found here.

Reform UK

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage is focusing his campaign on immigration.Getty Images
  • Freezing ‘non-essential’ immigration

Nigel Farage’s party wants to see a total freeze on “non-essential” immigration but said there could be exceptions in areas such as healthcare.

  • An end to small boat crossings

Reform UK has pledged to stop people coming to the UK via small boat crossings on the English Channel.

The party’s “contract” – what it is calling its manifesto – says illegal immigrants will be detained and deported and “if needed migrants in small boats will be picked up and taken back to France”.

  • Big tax cuts

Reform wants to raise the income tax threshold from £12,571 to £20,000 and raise the higher-rate threshold from £50,000 to £70,000.

Inheritance tax would be abolished for estates worth less than £2m, up from the current threshold of £325,000.

And stamp duty would be scrapped on properties valued at less than £750,000, up from the current threshold of £250,000.

  • Scrap net zero targets and fast-track North Sea oil and gas licences

Farage wants to scrap the UK Government’s current plans for net zero completely, including ending subsidies for renewable energy.

He wants the windfall tax on oil and gas companies to end and new licences in the North Sea to be fast-tracked.

  • Defence to 3% of GDP within six years 

Reform has committed to increasing defence spending from its current level of around 2.3% to 3% within six years, increasing the size and capacity of the army.

Reform UK’s manifesto be found in full here.

Scottish Greens

Scottish Greens co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie put the environment front and centre in their manifesto.Scottish Greens
  • Ending all North Sea oil and gas licences

The Scottish Greens want the UK Government to end all new oil and gas licences and revoke any ones that have been issued recently.

  • Devolving powers to hold referendums

Co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater want the UK Government to give Holyrood the ability to hold constitutional referendums.

  • £28bn Green New Deal

The Scottish Greens want the next UK Government to introduce a £28bn a year Green New Deal to “turbocharger” the transition to net zero.

  • £1,000 per head private jet levy

They want a tax on private jets in the UK at £1,000 per head to drive down aviation emissions.

  • Wealth tax on top 1%

The party wants to raise £70bn through a UK wealth tax. It would see the top 1% pay a marginal tax raise of 1%, rising all the way up to 10% for the top 0.15%.

The Scottish Green Party manifesto can be found here.

SNP

John Swinney said a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence.
  • Independence

John Swinney has said if the SNP wins a majority of seats at the General Election he will immediately begin negotiations with the UK Government on independence.

  • Standing against austerity and the ‘Westminster consensus’ on public service cuts

The SNP wants the next UK Government to reverse any planned cuts to public services and instead invest in them. He wants to see £16bn a year for the NHS in England, arguing that it would see an extra £1.6bn for Scotland.

  • Scrap two-child benefit cap

The party wants to end the two-child benefit cap alongside other measures on the welfare state including scrapping the so-called bedroom tax and the devolution of housing benefits.

  • Rejoining the EU 

The SNP wants to see the UK rejoin the EU to restore access to the Single Market and free movement.

  • Devolution of tax to Holyrood

SNP MPs would demand the devolution of more tax powers to Scotland, including the ability to change National Insurance rates and implement a windfall tax. Although the party is against Labour’s plans for a windfall tax.

The SNP manifesto can be read in full here.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code