THE SNP have published their long-awaited report card of four years in office, asserting the claim – much-derided by opponents – that as a minority Government they achieved 84 out of 94 main pledges.

Rival parties were quick to denounce the document yesterday, but detailed analysis of flaws in the SNP claims were much slower to emerge and less clear even than the SNP’s original claims about what constituted headline pledges.

SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted: “Our achievements range from freezing the Council Tax, delivering 1000 more police officers, introducing the Small Business Bonus and restoring free education, to pledges such as meeting the cancer waiting times target – which the previous administration failed to do – and passing world-leading climate change legislation.

“In four years – despite being a minority government – 84 of these headline pledges have been delivered. Of the other 10, some – such as the referendum on independence and scrapping the Edinburgh Trams – were blocked by all the main opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament.”

Of those self-confessed failures, the SNP claimed three – Local Income Tax, scrapping Edinburgh Trams and holding an independence referendum – were directly linked to the inability to win a Holyrood vote as a minority Government, while others such a using the Fossil Fuel Levy money were vetoed by the Treasury.

Five of the failures came in education but they insist that on nursery education, primary class sizes and extra physical education progress was made short of their pledges.

Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray said: “The SNP promised to abolish Council Tax, write off student debt, give grants to first-time buyers, maintain teacher numbers, reduce class sizes – all promises made, all promises broken.

“Under the SNP, child poverty and unemployment are up, but teachers and classroom assistants are down. Their only approach in this election is to ask for people’s votes by way of thanks for things they haven’t even managed to do.”

Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: “People will not be fooled by this document. They remember that in 2007 the SNP promised to dump student debt, cut class sizes for P1-P3 pupils to 18 or fewer, give all first-time buyers a £2000 grant, give every child in every school two hours of PE a week, introduce a Local Income Tax, hold an Independence referendum and end automatic early release from our prisons.”

LibDem Campaign chairman, George Lyon, said: “The SNP have failed Scottish voters: “They have not dumped student debt, they dropped the first-time buyers’ grant, they let teachers down and they shelved the independence referendum, all promised in their 2007 campaign. What kind of record is that?”

The SNP document states that of 24 pledges under finance and sustainable growth – from the Council Tax freeze and Small Business Bonus, via bridge replacements and tolls abolition – there were three acknowledged failures. These were to replace the Council Tax with Local Income Tax, to utilise money from scrapping the Edinburgh trams, and to make use of the Fossil Fuel Levy cash. The first two were thwarted by Holyrood votes, the latter by the Treasury.

On the “Constitution, Government and Cultural Affairs” the document trumpets the Saltire Prize and other awards, including the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, but concedes it was outvoted on an independence referendum.

Health has a host of claims about improvements, but on housing there is an admission that the First-Time Buyers’ grant was replaced because shared equity schemes became more effective.

Justice is said to have been fully implemented but education became the big problem area, accounting for five of the 10 failures. Increasing nursery provision by 50% achieved only 20%; cutting P1-3 classes to 18 saw a reduction to an average of 23.1, short of the target. Two hours of PE was achieved in only 55% of primaries.

Eradicating student debt proved impossible but progress was made on cutting it, with many part-timers moved from loans to grants, and above all the abolition of the Graduate Endowment.

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