The Future of Scotland

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:15 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 9:15 am, 29th March 2007

The Scottish National Party calls for debates, but it does not like them when they happen.

We will make leaving school at the ages of 16 and 17 conditional on a young person being in education, training or full-time volunteering; we will create a national citizenship award for school pupils; and we will give youngsters who want to learn about respect and responsibility in the best volunteer Army training camps in the world the opportunity to do so.

A full employment agency will be tasked with getting a further 100,000 Scots into work within eight years. There will be 50,000 modern apprenticeships. We will lift 120,000 more children from poverty by 2010, on the way to ending child poverty within a generation.

We will double the number of community wardens and there will be new disclosure arrangements for predatory sex offenders. The DNA and fingerprint samples of all crime suspects will be retained.

There will be new walk-in treatment centres in Scotland's main commuter hubs and health checks for men. Scotland will be the first nation in the world to offer free vaccination against cervical cancer for all young women.

There will be new targets for developing renewable energy. All new houses will be built to higher energy efficiency standards and will incorporate microgeneration technologies as standard.

There will be no council tax rises above inflation for the next four years.

A vote for Labour on 3 May will be a positive vote to build up Scotland. The choice will be to build up Scotland or break up Britain. For the Scottish National Party to complain about negative campaigning takes pots and kettles to a new dimension.