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Scottish Elections 2021

On the 6th of May, Scotland will vote in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021. Find out more about our Manifesto for Social Work, where the main parties align with our Asks and other key areas of relevance within their Manifestos

A Manifesto for Social Work

Our Manifesto for Social Work comprises 7 asks, across 3 Priority areas: Human Rights, Poverty and Listen to and benefit from the voices and experiences of social workers. Read the full document, here.

We are asking members to commit to stand with social work and pledge your support for our Manifesto, here. Once you have signed, please share this pledge on your own social media platforms using the hashtag #Istandwithsocialwork.

SASW met with MSPs from across the parties to discuss our Manifesto in the run up to the election, and we broadly welcome many of the main parties pledges outlined below. We are committed to continuing to strengthen our relationship with MSPs and other stakeholders across the political sphere in the new parliamentary term. 


Scottish National Party

The SNP’s Manifesto “Scotland’s Future” can be downloaded, here.

The Manifesto focuses on the constitutional question, “seeking your permission at this election for an independence referendum to be held after Covid”, whilst also setting out what they claim to be a "transformational policy programme that will drive recovery". 

7 Specific pledges relevant to social work and our Manifesto:

1) The SNP have committed to launching a National Care Service and taking forward the recommendations in the Feeley review, this will include increase in investment in social care by 25% (£800m in total)

2) Incorporate all UN treaties into Scots Law

3) Making step by step changes through the social security system to begin work to deliver a minimum income guarantee  

4) Four- year delivery plan to lift children out of poverty, backed by a £50million fund

5) A call on the UK Government to introduce a fair and humane asylum and refugee system and to lift the harmful restrictions caused by No Recourse to Public Funds

6) Ensure restorative justice services are widely available across Scotland by 2023

7)) SASW has a commitment from the SNP to sponsor our Cross-Party Group on social work should the MSP we approached be re-selected


Scottish Liberal Democrats  

The Lib Dem Manifesto "Put Recovery First" can be found, here.

It pledges to “put recovery first" by taking “a needle-sharp focus on jobs, mental health, our NHS, schools and the climate crisis.”

7 Lib Dem pledges relevant to social work and our Manifesto:

1) The Scottish liberal democrats do not support the creation of a national care service, due to concerns that this will involve losing local innovation and skills. Instead, they propose a combination of national care standards and local commissioning. 

2) Improve rehabilitation services for people leaving prison so they are less likely to re-offend, including implementing healthcare plans for people suffering ill health within two weeks of their entering prison, giving them the best change for their health, especially mental health, to be improved upon release.   

3) Work with the UK Government to develop a system of Universal Basic Income  

4) Incorporate four UN human rights treaties into Scots law.  

5) Call on UK Government to make permanent the £20 uplift in Universal Credit introduced during the pandemic.

6) Stop future emergency legislation removing fundamental rights from disabled people 

7) The Lib Dems support our CPG and have promised to work closely with us to find an appropriate MSP in the new parliament to sponsor it.


Scottish Greens

The Green's Manifesto, ""Our Common Future" can be accessed, here.

They describe it as “a bold plan to build a better future for all of us over the next five years and through to 2030” by rebuilding our economy, tackling the climate emergency, investing in public services, correcting inequality and restoring our natural environment. 

 7 Green pledges relevant to social work and our Manifesto:

 1) The Greens, like the SNP, commit to build a National Care Service,. They state this will be rooted in a human rights-based approach and publicly owned, with private sector provision to be removed from social care “in the long term”

2) Enshrine the right to food in Scots law

3) Work with addiction services to address the multiple stigmas which drug users often experience, and destigmatise medication assisted treatment

4) Negotiate with the UK government to secure the basic powers to introduce a comprehensive Universal Basic Income pilot

5) Reject the principle of ‘no recourse’ to public funds’ and ensure that local authorities are enabled to provide assistance to all vulnerable individuals who require it, regardless of immigration status

6) Introduce a Human Rights (Scotland) Act to enshrine fundamental rights, including the right to a health and safety environment 

7) Greens said they broadly support our CPG, but we don’t yet have a commitment from a candidate to sponsor it in the new parliamentary term if they are re-selected


Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour's "National Recovery" Plan can be found, here.

Described as “a collection of five distinct recovery plans for our jobs, NHS, education, climate, and communities”, Labour argues that as we come out of the pandemic period, Scotland requires, “a collective national effort to drive forward the change our country needs.”

7 relevant Labour pledges: 

 1) On the independent review of adult social care, Labour also supports the creation of a National Care Service, but with social care delivered locally. On pay, an immediate rise to £12 an hour, and a pledge to work with trade unions towards a further rise to £15 an hour is made.

2) Guarantee a minimum income standard that no one would fall below

3) Establish a Staying Connected fund which will offer grants, up to the annual value of the TV licence, currently £159, to all households with an individual aged 75 and over to either cover the costs of their licence or go towards internet and connectivity bills

4)  Create a National Housing Agency

5) Fully incorporate human rights treaties into scots law, with clear mechanisms for resolving problems and remedying infringements

6) Work with local authorities to mitigate the impact of the no recourse to public funds policy and ensure that those in need have access to support and scotland specific security payments, introduce a targeted national approach to get support to those families with no recourse to public funds

7) We have yet to secure sponsorship for a CPG on social work from a rep from labour


Scottish Conservatives

You can find the Scottish Conservatives Manifesto titled “Rebuild Scotland”, here. 

The manifesto sets out priorities to tackle “the long and difficult task of rebuilding the Scottish economy, of getting businesses back to earning a living and creating jobs for those people who have been left unemployed.

7 relevant Scottish Conservative pledges: 

1) On the independent review of adult social care, there is support for the principles and for viewing social care as an equal partner to the NHS. But the Conservatives see this as best delivered through local authorities rather than a national agency and would look to develop new governance arrangements.

2) Communities bill to introduce fair funding for councils, deliver a new financial framework that ensures councils automatically receive a set percentage of the Scottish budget each year, mirroring the relationship with the Scottish government has with the UK government

3) Recommendations of the independent care review must be implemented in full and on time to fulfil the promise

4) Roll out the mockingbird programme across Scotland to build supportive communities around foster families

5) Additional funding for domestic abuse charities to respond to the impact of covid-19 until the end of 2021

6) Eradicate rough sleeping by 2026

7) We had a commitment from a conservative candidate to sponsor our Cross Party Group if they are re-selectedimage