The SNP have pledged in their manifesto to continue campaigning to use public procurement as a tool for improving pay and employment practices.
The Scottish Nationals said if elected they would make sure the devolved government could continue asking firms awarded public contracts to pay employees a “real living wage”, which is higher than the minimum wage.
Speaking at the manifesto launch today SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted to see the minimum wage increase to more than £10 per hour by the end of the next parliament.
These commitments are part of a manifesto that focuses on welfare and Brexit. The SNP’s main commitments include an end to austerity, increased spending on healthcare and additional devolved powers to the Scottish parliament. As well as calling for Scotland to be allowed to remain in the European Single Market after the UK leaves the EU, the manifesto includes plans for a second independence referendum after the terms of the Brexit deal are known.
Alongside these key themes, the party said it wanted to introduce UK-wide regulation barring companies from public contracts if they are caught blacklisting individuals from employment, similar to legislation introduced by the Scottish government. The Welsh government has issued procurement guidance to halt blacklisting.
While opposing the upgrade of the Trident nuclear fleet, the SNP pledge to support the defence industry in Scotland by investing in more conventional naval ships and pushing for the use of Scottish SMEs in the defence supply chain. The manifesto also calls for more transparency in UK defence spending, including a full breakdown of spending by region and all spending with SMEs – echoing calls it made in the last general election.
The SNP also pledged to support the country’s oil and gas sector, in part by helping ensure Scottish SMEs are strongly placed in the decommissioning supply chain.
The SNP is the latest party to publish its manifesto. Labour pledged to use public procurement to support the domestic steel industry, the Conservatives renewed their pledge to act on late payers, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymry said they would use public procurement to develop local communities and the Greens said they would roll back NHS outsourcing.
The general election will take place on 8 June.
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