‘Scottish Conservative policy must be relevant and meaningful to voters’
Following his announcement that he would establish a series of Policy Commissions involving MSPs, Councillors, activists and individuals with experience in their field, Jackson Carlaw MSP has given a flavour of policies Scottish Conservatives might promote under his Leadership.
Jackson has announced ideas to help first time home buyers with a new ‘Scottish Partnership Housing’ initiative, to give households a redeemable stake in their power bills reflecting their investment in renewable energy and a major drive to tackle inequalities, particularly in cities, with a substantial expansion of Conservative plans to establish a National Health Visiting Service.
“I have already said that under my leadership there will be no more policy handed down from Tory ‘high command’ at the centre. I will involve all sections of the Party in our policy debate and development. However, I do want to give a flavour of the sort of policy I believe will appeal to those who do not currently vote for us, for those who, as one supporter put it to me ‘do not live in big hooses’.”
Scottish Partnership Housing
“In the post wars years Harold Macmillan oversaw the building of some 300000 new homes. In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher enabled millions of council tenants to buy their own homes. Yet, today, prospective home owners wonder if they will ever be able to afford a front door of their own as the average age of first time buyers rises into the mid-thirties.”
“Conservatives believe in home ownership – the investment this gives individuals in their future and in the stake this gives families in their community. So I would like to see the borrowing powers transferring to Holyrood under the Scotland Act used in part to fund new joint equity funding in housing for first time home owners. On sale, the government would recover their stake inclusive of inflation over the period, while the home owner would recover their stake together with the property appreciation – allowing them to make the next step independently.”
Renewable Energy Dividend
“Scottish Conservatives will once again actively contribute to the national UK policy debate. So although ‘reserved’, I will argue for households in Scotland, where huge investments are being made in renewable energy, to benefit from the premium they are paying on their energy bills.”
“I believe that the ‘renewables premium’ should be identified and itemised on home energy bills, that this should be illustrated as an accumulating total and that it should in due course be redeemable, either as a discount on future energy costs or be converted into shares in their energy supplier.”
“The premium households are paying should not be a tax but an investment by them as taxpayers from which they will ultimately benefit.”
National Health Visiting Service
“I have already worked with Mary Scanlon MSP to evolve a comprehensive plan for a GP attached National Health Visiting Service. However, I am convinced we need to go much further still. Health inequalities continue to bedevil many of our communities. Inequalities stubbornly persist from one government to the next. The costs to individuals, communities, taxpayers and the well being of Scotland are huge and are escalating. Alcohol and drug addiction, poverty, obesity, poor parenting all contribute to health inequalities which shame Scotland.”
“We need to invest far more in preventative health care – to offer new start families all the education and support in the early years to tackle and overcome future health care inequalities before they become established. All the evidence suggests that if we fail in the early years then by age 3 predictable lifetime health and social inequalities will be established.”
“I am not advocating a universal ‘nanny state’. Support will be concentrated where it is needed. However, conservatives have always believed in investing in the future. A national effort and investment in preventative health care will not only be an investment in a healthier Scotland but an investment which will realise a future benefit in reduced overall health, police, justice and social costs – in every sense.”