Big Issue Vendor

Nicola Sturgeon says our pledge “shows the direction we want to go in”

The SNP leader and her Westminster chief Ian Blackford have both thrown their weight behind The Big Issue’s Future Generations campaign

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given our Future Generations Pledge her backing, insisting that it shows that “our society should be measured on happiness and health, not wealth”.

Our campaign has already attracted cross-party support, with around 350 candidates signing the pledge and even more adding their names to the list every day.

So far, six members of the Scottish National Party have signed the pledge, most notably their two most high-profile members: party leader Sturgeon and Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Sturgeon told The Big Issue: “The SNP and the government in Scotland are leading the way with our focus on wellbeing and ensuring that we concentrate on social and environmental issues alongside growing the economy. Our goals as a society should be measured on the basis of how healthy and happy a population is, not how wealthy we are.

“The Big Issue’s pledge for future generations fits well, within that wellbeing approach – and while many of the areas in this bill are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, it shows the ambition and direction that we all want to go in.

“SNP MPs in the next Parliament will continue to build on our work in Scotland to build a sustainable future focused on improving opportunities for young people and enhancing their health and wellbeing.

“Instead, we will press the UK Government to reverse its cuts to the Scottish budget, invest in public services and the economy and follow Scotland’s lead in putting wellbeing at the heart of policymaking.”

The SNP’s manifesto promised greater wellbeing – aligning with the aims of the Future Generations Pledge – as well as a more equal economy that generates more stable, sustainable growth with lower social costs.

They also looked to the future with what they dubbed a “world-leading” Climate Change Act, vowing to end Scotland’s contribution to global climate change by 2045 after going carbon neutral five years before.

“New and existing challenges facing our society and future generations must be at the forefront of the next Parliament,” said Blackford. “Whether it’s poverty, Brexit or climate change, the actions and inactions of consecutive Westminster Governments have utterly failed to build a fairer, safer and more equal society for current and future generations.

The Big Issue’s pledge for future generations sends a much-needed signal to future MPs that we must work together, across the political landscape to address the immediate crises in our society that will limit opportunities for our young people and their futures. Young people deserve a say in new policies and to have a say over their future. That’s why I can confirm that the SNP will support the aims behind this pledge, to help build a better future for the next generation.

“While the draft legislation requires reworking to prevent any duties being unilaterally imposed on devolved bodies, SNP MPs in the next Parliament will work on a cross party basis to make this bill fit for purpose.”