Ruth Davidson: the Conservatives’ pledges to the third sector

Bulletin-party-leaders-montage-web

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson writes for TFN

TFN Guest's photo

5th June 2017 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

This election, in seats right the way across the country, will be a straight fight between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP.

For voters from Berwickshire to Banff, Dumfries to Dingwall, they have a choice.

Back an SNP candidate who will do nothing other than agitate for another, divisive referendum campaign.

Or pick a Scottish Conservative as your MP, who will stand up to the nationalists and ensure Scotland remains a key part of a successful United Kingdom.

Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson

Third sector organisations have a vital role to play in influencing government policy at local, national and even international level

The SNP likes to pretend this election isn’t about independence, and instead claims it will be focusing on other areas.

But we know only one thing matters for Nicola Sturgeon – and it runs through every strand of the SNP, from town halls across Scotland to the benches of Holyrood and Westminster.

The nationalists may claim Brexit is an issue during this campaign. But the ink had barely dried on the last ballot paper after the EU referendum when Nicola Sturgeon revealed to an assembled media that she had already told her civil servants to get to work on drawing up plans for another referendum.

And they will pretend this is about public services and the economy, with thinly laid-out plans to raise £118 billion through taxation to ward off what it calls austerity. But this is Nicola Sturgeon dictating tax policy to the very United Kingdom she spends night and day trying to split apart.

We’d love to stop talking about independence, but can only do that when the SNP government stops obsessing about the constitution, and takes the threat of another referendum off the table.

That would allow politics to start debating domestic issues again, not least the value of Scotland’s charities and third sector.

We’ve outlined many priorities for that in this general election manifesto, and previous ones too.

That’s because third sector organisations have a vital role to play in influencing government policy at local, national and even international level.

And a healthy charitable sector is also key to get Scotland’s economy growing again, and that’s why such organisations are at the heart for our plans to deliver a more inclusive economy.

We also want to see third sector set-ups help tackle some of the social problems of the day.

For instance, voluntary organisations carry out tremendous work in rehabilitating prisoners, both before and after their release from jail. That’s a role we’d like to see increased, with the potential of partners being paid linked to successful outcomes in lowering reoffending.

Third sector organisations also have a role to play in improving delivery of palliative care by developing partnerships between the sector and, for example, ambulance and social care services.

We’d also like to hear more from charities when it comes to our failing education system in schools.

So while independence is at the front and centre of this general election campaign, sending a strong message to the SNP by voting Scottish Conservative – and telling the nationalists to end their separation obsession - will help ensure these issues of huge importance can re-take priority in Scottish political life for years to come.

Ruth Davidson is leader of the Scotish Conservative Party.

Comments

6th June 2017 by Peter Dow

Ah, the nasty party, the mean party, the Scottish conservative party - the party whose government stops benefits to the sick and disabled leaving them destitute or suicidal, while giving tax-cuts to the rich and the green light and knighthoods to billionaire who steal from their workers pensions. The least charitable party.