South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the SNP’s rural manifesto – in which the party sets out what electing a strong team of SNP MPs will mean for rural Scotland.
The SNP has a strong track record of supporting Scotland’s rural and remote communities and will seek to use its influence at Westminster to deliver further progress that boosts Scotland’s rural economy.
The Rural Manifesto sets out that SNP MPs will:
• Press for a fair share of the UK’s CAP convergence uplift, which comes to the UK as a result of Scotland’s low hectare rates.
• Scrutinise UK government actions at an EU level to ensure that our farming and fishing industries receive full backing and support.
• Protect the Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation, the maintenance of the 30 per cent government share of Royal Mail in order to protect the public interest and, over time, support the return of the Royal Mail to public ownership.
• Support the introduction of a Universal Service Obligation for broadband services
• Push for increased investment in 4G
• Take forward Scotland’s £1.3 billion rural development programme
• Press for action at an EU level to deliver a simplified CAP
• Work to ensure the discard ban is workable for our fishing fleet
• Ensure coastal communities benefit from the net income of the Crown Estate’s seabed leasing revenues
• Press for a fair deal on fuel prices for rural areas
• Back the full devolution of all food levies so we can support the promotion of Scotland’s food and drink
Commenting Ms McAlpine said:
“The SNP has always made supporting Scotland’s rural and remote communities a priority in Government and a strong team of SNP MPs will ensure that rural Scotland’s voice at Westminster is heard like never before.
“SNP MPs will push for action to ensure that rural communities fully benefit from the rollout of broadband and 4G technologies.
“Our rural communities, like those throughout Dumfries and Galloway make an enormous contribution to Scotland’s economy and Scotland only thrives when these communities are nurtured and supported.
“SNP MPs will stand up for key measures like protecting the Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation and press for Scotland’s farmers to receive their fair share of CAP convergence funding.
“Right now our farmers are getting a raw deal from a CAP budget which was negotiated without Scotland’s agriculture sector in mind.
“Westminster has repeatedly negotiated Scotland down to the bottom of the league tables of EU funding. This has huge implications for a rural area such as Dumfries and Galloway.
“The needs of rural Scotland should be better represented at Westminster and this election is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that this happens by electing a strong team of SNP MPs.”