Nicola Sturgeon and Douglas Ross clash in election debate
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As the First Minister marks 100 days in office since the 2021 Holyrood election, the Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP leader of breaking a large number of promises she made to voters in May by focusing on separation from the UK. The long list of 13 pledges includes a failure to publish an NHS recovery plan which the SNP promised would include a 10 percent increase in inpatient, day-case and outpatient activity.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross claimed that Ms Sturgeon’s promises are “now it is in tatters for everyone to see.”
The Moray MP said today: “Once again, all they can do is try to spin their way out of it.
“You’ll hear Nicola Sturgeon claim that independence is ‘essential’ to Scotland’s recovery and that without it, we won’t be able to get back on our feet.
“It’s a desperate throw of the dice from a faltering Nationalist campaign.
“Their obsession with another referendum is exactly why they’re failing to tackle the deep problems they’ve created over the past 14 years.
“Distraction gets in the way of delivery.”
Elsewhere, the party has also pledged to take early steps to launch an inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic, but this is yet to happen.
It is also claimed the SNP led Scottish Government are not on target to vaccinate all adults after they pledged to complete “the vaccination of all adults, subject to supply” within their first 100 days.
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The most recent government figures show that only 73.8 percent of the population have had two doses of the vaccine.
Scottish Conservative analysis reveals that if the current daily rate of around 17,000 doses continues, Ministers will miss the 12 September target by over 500,000.
The SNP also pledged to “begin the planning for provision of tablets and laptops to all schoolchildren”, but have not confirmed any further progress towards this manifesto pledge.
Annie Wells MSP, Scottish Conservative health spokesperson said the First Minister’s 100-day pledge “looks like another set of broken promises in the making”.
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She added: “It’s clear the SNP are miles off target on meeting the pledges in their 100-days document.
“Once again, there’s an enormous gap between what the SNP say and what they do. They just don’t deliver.
“The delay to publishing an NHS plan is inexcusable.”
Ms Sturgeon is expected to relaunch her campaign next month for a second independence referendum at the SNP National Conference.
A draft agenda for the SNP’s annual national conference shows party members will be asked to endorse proposals for a new independence push, arguing this is “essential” for a successful recovery from the Covid pandemic.
A separate motion states that legislation for a new referendum should be introduced at Holyrood “at the earliest moment” after a “clear end” to the current public health crisis.
Ms Sturgeon wants to hold another separation vote by the end of 2023 but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the priority for the UK is “bouncing back together” from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister also told Express.co.uk this week that constitutional change was “about as far from the top of my agenda as it is possible to be”.
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Mr Ross concluded: “We’re serious about becoming Scotland’s real alternative to the Nationalists at Holyrood because, in their first 100 days, the SNP will not come close to meeting the promises they made.
“They’re already breaking the trust of Scottish voters.
“As time goes on, it’s going to become even clearer that this is a government out of ideas and cut off from the needs of real people.”
In response, the Scottish Government rebuffed the Scottish Conservative analysis and claimed the 100 days only started when Ms Sturgeon was sworn in as First Minister on May 18, not when she was reelected on May 6.
A spokesman for Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Ms Sturgeon 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 per cent pay rise for our hard-working NHS staff, announcing the abolition of charges for school music tuition or dental charges for 18 to 25-year-olds or much more.
“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.”
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