Ian Blackford for Ross, Skye and Lochaber

Ambition

I am ambitious for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, and believe that the best way to achieve this is to have a strong voice for Scotland in Westminster.

The SNP Government in Scotland has sought to defend the interests of the Scottish people. Hard pressed voters have benefited from the council tax freeze at a time when incomes have been under pressure. We have protected health and education.

The SNP have been on the side of the people of Scotland, and the Lib Dems have supported a Tory Government. There are, for example, no tuition fees for university in Scotland, whilst south of the border the Lib Dem/Tory coalition has seen fees rise to as much as £9000.

The SNP Government and SNP led Highland Council have been at the forefront of establishing the living wage. I will fight to make sure all those that contribute to our society do not have to make the choice of food or heating. This is not acceptable in a civilised society.

Today almost one third of families in this constituency are living below the poverty line. The full roll out of the living wage will help eradicate poverty in the Highlands. Austerity is not working. It is taking money out of the pockets of hard working families and punishing the poor.

The SNP proposes a modest 0.5% increase in Government spending which would increase spending by £180 billion across the UK over the next four years. This will stimulate growth, aid job creation and improve living standards. And, it would still allow for the deficit to fall to 2% of GDP by 2020.

 Our programme is a sensible approach offering hope and an alternative to the on-going austerity of the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour.  Ordinary folk should not have to continue to pay a price for the failures of the financial crisis.

We have proven, at Holyrood, that the best decisions for Scotland are made by those who care most about Scotland; that is the Scottish people.If I am given the privilege of being elected as your MP, you can be assured that I will be fighting hard, to  influence decisons for the benefit of all my constituents.

A vote for the SNP on May 7th is one to say we want a change for the better. It is time for that change.