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‘Lousy performance’: SNP and opposition parties clash over first 100 days election pledges

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with cabinet secretaries
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with cabinet secretaries

Opposition parties and the SNP are clashing over whether or not election promises for the first 100 days of government have been met.

The Conservatives say the SNP is “miles off target” on a number of promises, while the Liberal Democrats claim many pledges have “fallen by the wayside”.

Friday August 26 will officially mark 100 days since the government was formed.

But the opposition say a number of key promises – such as publishing an NHS recovery plan, launching a Scottish Covid inquiry, producing a women’s health plan and vaccinating all adults against coronavirus – have not been met.

‘Broken promises in the making’

Annie Wells MSP, shadow cabinet secretary for health, said: “It’s clear the SNP are miles off target on meeting the pledges in their 100 days document.

Annie Wells MSP

“Once again, there’s an enormous gap between what the SNP say and what they do.

“They can talk a good game but they just don’t deliver.

“This looks like another set of broken promises in the making.

“Their failures will have damaging knock-on consequences for our NHS and people across the country.

“The delay to publishing an NHS recovery plan is inexcusable.

“That should have been one of the SNP government’s top priorities.

‘Lousy performance’

“It’s apparent that most of the inaction and missed targets are down to Humza Yousaf’s lousy performance as health secretary.

“So far his most notable action is misleading parents about Covid rates in children.

“Instead of focusing on meeting these pledges, the SNP broke their promise to set indyref2 aside and prioritise Scotland’s recovery.

“Just this week, we heard they are shamelessly planning to ramp up their push for another referendum at their party conference.

“It’s more of the same from this distracted, divisive SNP government.”

SNP focusing too much on ‘separatism’

The Scottish Lib Dems are also criticising the SNP’s performance in the first few weeks of government, adding they are too focused on “separatism” rather than people’s jobs, health and education.

Alistair Carmichael MP, interim leader of the Lib Dems, said: “Nicola Sturgeon has one more week to deliver on her pledges for her first 100 days in power.

Alistair Carmichael MP

“Most significantly we are still waiting on the NHS recovery plan to help our health service recover, not just from the pandemic, but from 14 years of her government’s mismanagement.

“But there are other projects that seem to have already fallen by the wayside too.

“After the mistakes made in handling care homes it is no surprise that the first minister is in no great hurry to set up an independent inquiry into her government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

“The vaccination of all adults hasn’t been completed.

“Teachers are being hired on casual short-term contracts and there are still many more without work for August and whose talents will be missed by children.

“Still she has found time to appoint Mike Russell to head up another independence push at SNP HQ.

“It should be clear to the public that the SNP’s priority will never be your job, your health and your children’s education, it will always be separatism.”

SNP defends performance in first 100 days

However, the SNP says opposition politicians are ignoring the good work it has done in the past few weeks, such as giving NHS staff a pay rise and abolishing school music tuition fees.

A spokesman for Covid recovery secretary John Swinney said: “It says it all about Scotland’s unionist parties that they can’t bring themselves to say a single positive thing about the fantastic achievements of the SNP government over the last few months – whether that’s agreeing a 4% pay rise for our hard-working NHS staff, announcing the abolition of chares for school music tuition or dental charges for 18-25 year olds, completed the transformational expansion of free childcare to 1,140 hours across Scotland or more.

John Swinney MSP

“We have always been clear that our plans were to be implemented 100 days from forming the new government – not the date of the election, which would of course be nonsensical, given that at that time there was not even MSPs to vote in the new government to carry out its programme.

“We are immensely proud of what we are delivering and are continuing to work to our timetable to implement our remaining important commitments.

“As people would expect, some of the commitments such as the NHS recovery plan or the next steps on the Covid public inquiry have required extensive and careful consultation in order to ensure we get these important policies right.”