SNP accused of missing election 100-day pledges

SNP ministers have been accused of marking the first 100 days after securing victory in the Holyrood election with “delays, broken promises, and a gulf between their spin and their action” – with alarm bells raised over a failure to draw up a recovery plan for the NHS.

As well as getting their act together over recovery from the pandemic, Scottish Labour has also told Nicola Sturgeon’s party to turn its focus to the climate emergency instead of “re-opening old divisions” over independence.

But the Scottish Government has labelled the attack “ridiculous”, insisting that Labour has held the promises to 100 days since the election rather than from the date the administration was formed – branding the criticism “nonsensical”.

However, a large proportion of the First Minister’s Cabinet has remained on the front bench since May’s election – with the administration seen as a continuity government.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney was given responsibility for Covid recovery after losing the education brief.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has claimed that a host of commitments have not been met including completing vaccination of all adults, taking steps to set up a Covid-19 public inquiry and publishing an NHS recovery plan.

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The ‘First Steps’ document, announced by the First Minister during the election campaign set out pledges for the first 100 days – but did not feature in the party’s manifesto.

Labour has pointed to one in four adults in Scotland still not being fully vaccinated and highlighted that no recovery plan for the NHS has been drawn up.

Mr Sarwar said: “The SNP promised to focus on recovery, but there’s no sign they’ve even started yet.

“Their time in government has been defined by delays, broken promises, and a gulf between their spin and their action – and it seems we can expect more of the same this term.

“In the final days of the campaign they put forward a weak imitation of Scottish Labour’s message, vowing to work in the national interest – but in just 100 days they have broken promises on everything from tackling Covid to rebuilding our NHS to delivering green jobs.”

He added: “The failure to set up a public inquiry into Covid-19 is a particularly shocking dereliction of duty.”

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“As each day passes, their arrogance grows and they continue to lose touch with communities across Scotland as they abandon the pledges they were elected on just months ago.”

The Scottish LibDems have called for Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to apologise to NHS staff for failing to bring forward a recovery plan.

The party’s health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “NHS patients and staff will be unsurprised that a government that has consistently failed to hit targets for mental health care, cancer treatment and A&E performance has also missed its target to deliver an NHS recovery plan in their first 100 days.

“With this promise now consigned to the dust, the Health Secretary should call a press conference and use it to apologise to all of the NHS staff who have been let down.”

Scottish Conservative chief whip, Stephen Kerr, added: “Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers promised to make Covid recovery their priority, but they have taken their eye off the ball once again. We know they have already put a push for a divisive indyref2 at the top of their conference agenda.

“Championing independence once again is a dereliction of duty from the SNP Government as Scotland aims to accelerate its recovery from the pandemic.

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“No matter how they try and spin it this is another series of SNP broken promises that are letting people down all over again.”

Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary, Ian Murray, has also demanded that attention is turned to the climate emergency instead of being distracted by constitutional wrangling.

Independence is one of three key themes to be put back on the agenda at the SNP conference next month.

Mr Murray has pointed to promises set out in the first 100 days pledge to appoint environmental champions and create pilots to deliver free bikes to children who cannot afford them which have not materialised.

The promises also commits to establishing an ‘integrated implementation board to develop new proposals for sustainable farming support’ but farmers have already been raising concerns about the lack of progress.

Th Edinburgh South MP said the SNP’s environmental credentials are “in tatters” after failing to publicly oppose the proposed Cambo oil field, just as the Scottish Government prepares to make a deal with the Scottish Greens.

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The First Minister has been criticised for “deferring to Boris Johnson” for calling on the proposals to be “reassessed” instead of categorically calling for them to be axed.

Mr Murray said: “There are two unprecedented crises facing governments – the climate emergency and the Covid recovery.

“These must be the absolute focus for ministers; there is no justification for re-opening old divisions in the face of such challenges for our communities.

“The only thing the SNP Government has done in its first 100 days is break its promise to deliver all the pledges in its first 100 days.”

He added: “It’s time to redouble efforts and prioritise the climate emergency, but the SNP’s environmental credentials are in tatters after failing to publicly oppose the proposed Cambo oil field.”

The Scottish Government has stressed that Ms Sturgeon was re-appointed as First Minister on May 18 – insisting that 100 days from then is marked on August 25 and not today.

A spokesperson for the Deputy First Minister said: “Labour’s attack is ridiculous.

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

“The SNP was returned office because people across Scotland know they can depend on this government to deliver, in contrast to the constant carping from Labour and the Tories.

“We are immensely proud of what we are delivering, including a pay rise for our hard-working NHS staff, the abolition of dental charges for 18-25 year olds, and completing the transformational expansion of free childcare across Scotland.

“We are continuing to work to our timetable to implement the remaining commitments, including the NHS recovery plan.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992