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First Minister urges young people to vote for SNP’s ‘progressive policies’

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First Minister of Scotland John Swinney has urged young people to vote for the SNP, as he heaped praise on former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Swinney claimed the SNP is the only party offering young people “progressive policies” and a route back to the EU – after the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned Labour and Tory plans will mean “sharp” spending cuts.

Speaking ahead of a visit with a youth theatre, Mr Swinney cited free tuition, prescriptions, school meals for primary pupils, and bus travel for under-22s, as big achievements.

He said the Scottish Child Payment and Young Carer Grant showed that “young people deserve better than the austerity of cuts Brexit, and the cost-of-living crisis”.

The SNP is also calling for a cut to interest rates to help first-time buyers and mortgage holders, and the devolution of employment powers so the Scottish Government can bring in a Real Living Wage for all – without age discrimination.

The party said that Labour had “abandoned young people by backing Brexit and austerity, and ditching pledges to scrap tuition fees, defend freedom of movement, nationalise public services and support electoral reform, including proportional representation”.

Mr Swinney said: “A vote for the SNP on July 4 is a vote to give Scotland’s next generation a better future. Young people deserve better than the austerity cuts, Brexit, and a cost-of-living crisis on offer from Labour and the Tories.

“Young people will bear the brunt of the significant spending cuts which neither Labour nor Tories want to talk about – and the SNP is the only party in this election offering a genuine alternative.

“By trashing the economy, the Tory government which Scotland didn’t vote for took away the dream of home ownership for many young people. By imposing Brexit, they have taken away the chance for young people to live, study, and work freely across Europe.

“Meanwhile, Labour’s offering to young people has taken a massive step back under Keir Starmer. His predecessor Jeremy Corbyn backed many policies introduced by the SNP, such as free university tuition and free bus travel for young people, and opposing Brexit.

“But one by one, Keir Starmer has thrown these promises out of the window.

“In Scotland, the SNP is taking a different approach. We have shown that free university tuition delivers, we’ve ensured young people have cheaper rail travel and free bus travel, and we’ve introduced a Young Carer Grant.

“In this election I’m urging young people to unite behind the SNP and demand investment in the next generation – not the cuts being offered by Labour and the Conservatives. Vote SNP for a future made in Scotland, for Scotland.”

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