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SNP criticised for "moanifesto" of failures over 12 years in government

With 100 weeks to go until the Holyrood 2021 election, the SNP government has been slammed for a “moanifesto” written during "12 years of misrule".

Pressed by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson at this week’s FMQs, SNP deputy John Swinney dismissed national concern over multi-level classrooms as a “moan-fest”.

It followed evidence that more than a hundred Scottish schools are being forced to teach three levels of pupil at once amid teacher shortages.

Last night, Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw criticised Mr Swinney’s “arrogant” performance while Nicola Sturgeon attended D-Day 75th anniversary events.

And he pointed to dozens of SNP failings - dubbing it their moanifesto – showing there is “plenty to complain about” on their mishandling of Scotland’s economy, education system, frontline policing, council funding, the NHS, housebuilding, agriculture, railways, and devolved welfare.

He said:

“John Swinney's embarrassing stand-in act last week summed up this SNP government - arrogant, defensive and utterly in denial.

“As this moanifesto shows, after 12 years of SNP misrule, there's plenty to complain about. 

“Ruth Davidson's Scottish Conservatives won't be silenced by SNP bullying.

“We will continue to call our SNP incompetence whenever we see it."




Notes for editors


Some headline failings of the SNP in the "moanifesto", by area:



The UK economy will grow more quickly than Scotland in the next four years. (Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts, 30 May 2019, link; OBR, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2019, link)

The total number of businesses in Scotland fell by almost 10,000 (2.5 per cent) from 2017 to 2018. (Scottish Government, Business in Scotland: Time Series 1, 12 November 2018, link).


Total teacher numbers are down by more than 3,100 since the SNP came to power. (Scottish Government, Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland, 11 December 2018, link).

There are more than 700 vacancies in Scotland’s schools. (Scottish Government, Teacher Vacancies Statistics, 11 December 2018, link).

Scottish schools have fallen in international rankings under the SNP. (Scottish Government, PISA 2015, December 2016, link).

NHS Scotland

NHS Scotland performance continue to decline. (Audit Scotland, NHS in Scotland 2018, 25 October 2018, link).

The NHS has been underfunded by the SNP. (HMT, Country and regional analysis 2017: Table A.11, 9 November 2017, link; HMT, Country and regional analysis 2018: Table A.11, 20 November 2018, link).

The SNP has underfunded Scottish GPs by almost £660 million over the last four years. (The Telegraph, 29 October 2018, link).


The number of new homes started each year has fallen by just under a third under the SNP. (Scottish Government, Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update, 12 June 2018, link).

As a result, home ownership in Scotland is suffering. (Scottish Government, Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update, 12 June 2018, link).


Nine out of 13 Divisions in Scotland have fewer officers on the frontline since the SNP’s police merger. (Police Scotland, Officer Numbers Q4 2018-19, link; Q3 2013-14, link).

The Scottish Police Federation say officers are ‘run ragged’. (The Times, 24 October 2018, link).

Violent crime has been rising for the last three years. (Scottish Government, Recorded Crime in Scotland 2017-18, 25 September 2018, link).


The SNP Government’s IT system for delivering Common Agricultural Policy payments was tens of millions of pounds over budget. (Audit Scotland, Common Agricultural Policy Futures programme, 17 June 2017, link).

Without financial support there would be bankruptcies across the farming industry. (Scottish Farm Business Income Estimates 2017-18, March 2019, link; The Times, 27 March 2019, link).

Unlike the Welsh Government, the SNP has decided not to extend the powers of the UK Agriculture Bill to Scotland and must now bring forward their own proposals. (UK Government, 12 September 2018, link).

Council funding

Council revenue funding from the SNP Government has fallen by almost a tenth from 2010. (Audit Scotland, Challenges and performance 2018, April 2018, link).

Devolved welfare

The SNP won’t take responsibility for devolved benefits until 2024. (The Herald, 28 February 2019, link).

SNP Ministers even had to hand back responsibility for one benefit to the DWP. (The Scotsman, 6 March 2019, link)

The SNP said in 2014 that an independent Scotland could be set up in 18 months. (Scottish Government, Scotland's Future, November 2013, link).


In the last eight years, ScotRail have been at fault for almost 2 million minutes of delays. (Office of Road and Rail, Delay minutes by Category of Delay and Train Operating Company (TOC), 2011-12 Period 1 to 2018-19 Period 7, link).

Scores of fed up commuters wrote to Sturgeon and Michael Matheson to complain about the standard of service on ScotRail. (The Scotsman, 5 April 2019, link).

The SNP have granted ScotRail a 'licence to fail', despite record low performance. (The Herald, 11 October 2018, link).

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