SNP manifesto challenges immigration rules, defends privacy

nicolasturgeon3The Scottish National Party (SNP) has published a manifesto for the General Election that calls for changes to immigration rules in Britain and hits out at the Conservatives’ proposed ‘snoopers’ charter’.

Launching the document from Edinburgh today, first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said it was “a manifesto bursting with ideas and ambition”.

It includes a pledge to change British immigration rules, stating: “Scotland need an immigration policy suited to our specific circumstances and needs. In particular, we wish to see the reintroduction of the post-study work visa so students who have been educated in Scotland can spend two years working here after their studies and can contribute to growing our economy.”

The SNP has also reiterated its opposition to “Tory plans for the reintroduction of the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’, which would see all online activity of every person in the UK stored for a year”, stating that it would support a “proportionate response to extremism”.

It expands: “We will support targeted, and properly overseen, measures to identify suspected extremists and, if necessary, examine their online activity and communications.”

The SNP has been buoyed lately by a series of opinion polls suggesting it will make major gains in Scotland and could play a significant role in a hung parliament, if neither Labour or the Conservatives win a majority next month.

Eight years after winning control of the Scottish Government, the SNP will be looking to implement a number of its long-standing policies related to defence policy, social security, and the extent of Scottish devolution.

The SNP manifesto also restates their view that the revenue from court fines imposed by Scottish courts should be retained in Scotland, rather than being sent to the UK Treasury.

More than £113 million was collected in fines in Scotland between 2007-12, leading to calls for that money to be given to the Scottish Parliament to “boost investment in crime reduction measures nationwide”.

You can read the SNP manifesto in full on their website.