New figures show the clear gains of devolution for people in Scotland and build the compelling case for more powers for Holyrood, the SNP has said.
A host of new stats from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show that unemployment has fallen by a remarkable 48% since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 – with female unemployment falling by 47%, and employment in rural Scotland rising by 6.5%.
The number of free childcare hours has risen from 0 to 600 in twenty years – with families seeing a rise of 26% since the SNP was elected.
In creating a safer Scotland, police officer numbers have soared under devolution. Despite a £2 billion cut to Holyrood’s block grant by Westminster in the last decade, officer numbers have risen by 16.5% since 1999.
According to a recent Panelbase poll, Scots believe that the Scottish Parliament has been a “force for improvement” and that Holyrood has given ordinary people more say in how Scotland is run. The Social Attitudes Survey has consistently found that people believe having a Scottish Parliament gives Scotland a stronger voice in the UK.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“The ability to take positive decisions in a Parliament which is accessible and ready to listen, has made our country a fundamentally better place to live, work and study.
“Scotland is delivering the best public services in the UK and leading the world in a range of ambitious policies.
“While we’ve taken better decisions in devolved areas, the shambles of Brexit makes the case for independence more compelling than ever – with Westminster ignoring Scotland’s voice and interests and trying to undermine the devolution process.
“Westminster is simply not working for us. Only independence will put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”