“Proposals to end austerity and increase departmental spending are wholly misguided given that the UK is still running a deficit of £90 billion a year and the government is spending nearly half of national income. Small steps to reduce the deficit have been made over this Parliament and today’s SNP manifesto would eradicate this progress.

“Clamping down on zero hours contracts, raising the minimum wage and championing the Living Wage would make UK labour markets resemble those in continental Europe where youth unemployment has reached up to 50 per cent in some countries.”

Commenting on the announcement on the NHS, Mark Littlewood said:

“Funding of the NHS is unsustainable in its current format and simply promising more money will do little to improve healthcare in the UK. Politicians need to be far more open minded when it comes to the gains to be had from expanding the role of the market within the provision of healthcare. The success of more market-orientated systems across Europe illustrates that combining different sources of funding does not have to be at odds with patient empowerment and high standards.”

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