Examining the 2017 General Election manifestos

As part of HIV Scotland’s work to raise awareness and promote policies that enable people affected by HIV in Scotland to live healthy and fulfilling lives, we have teamed up with other HIV organisations across the UK to produce a series of election asks ahead of the 2017 General Election. These calls reflect the diverse range of issues people living with or at increased risk of HIV, have.

All the parties have now published their manifestos which provide an insight into the policies they would implement should they form the next UK Government. Where applicable, we have summarised what the Scottish parties have said about relevant policy areas linked to HIV. The pledges by the parties are listed in random order.

Not all of the policy commitments will affect Scotland due to certain issues being devolved to the Scottish Parliament. You can see our election asks for the 2016 Scottish elections here.

Tackling stigma and discrimination

  • Scottish Labour has pledged to “continue to work towards ending the stigma of HIV in society”. The party has also committed to retaining the current Human Rights Act.
  • Scottish Conservatives promise not to repeal or replace the existing Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway, and that the UK will remain a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats commit to addressing all forms of discrimination. The manifesto pledges strengthen the UK’s commitment to international human rights law, oppose the scrapping of the Human Rights Act, and maintain membership of the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, the party calls for a periodic review of rules on blood donation that affect men-who-have-sex-with-men.
  • SNP call for the full devolution of equality laws to the Scottish Parliament and oppose any changes to current human rights protections in the UK.
  • Scottish Greens pledge to respect the human rights of all citizens and oppose scrapping existing human rights protections in the UK. Support adopting the European Social Charter to protect fundamental social and economic rights.

Improving health outcomes*

  • Scottish Liberal Democrats commit to introducing a National Wellbeing Strategy covering all aspects of government policy, including health, housing and environment.
  • SNP pledges to support the roll-out of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in England - where it is not currently available on the NHS.
  • Scottish Labour reaffirms its support for access to PrEP in Scotland and commits to ensuring health and social care staff better understand the needs of LGBTI patients and service users.
  • Scottish Conservatives pledge to increase spending within primary care.

Social security**

  • SNP promise to oppose any further cuts to social security spending.
  • Scottish Labour call for barriers to be removed in order for disabled people to fully participate within society. The party pledges to introduce a new Social Security Bill within the first year of office that would result in several changes, including an increase to Employment and Support Allowance, ensure that Personal Independence Payments reflected parity of esteem with physical and mental health conditions, and scrap the Bedroom Tax.
  • Scottish Conservatives state there are no plans for further “radical” changes to social security and will continue the rollout of Personal Independence Payments.

Education*

  • Scottish Conservatives pledge to introduce comprehensive Sex and Relationships Education in all primary and secondary schools.
  • Scottish Labour commits to delivering access to consistent sex education which considers LGBTI relationships and sexual health.

*The Scottish Parliament is responsible for education policy in Scotland.
**The Scottish Parliament is partly responsible for social security policy in Scotland, but the UK Parliament remains responsible for the majority of policies. A break-down can be found here.

More information

Full copies of the manifestos can be found here:
Scottish Conservatives
Scottish Greens
Scottish Labour
Scottish Liberal Democrats
SNP

Your vote matters

In order to turn these pledges into reality, you need to vote. Polling stations will be open from 7am – 10pm on Thursday 8th June. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you and that have a direct effect on people affected by HIV in Scotland.