Anas Sarwar will today promise to slash NHS waiting lists if Labour returns to power at the general election and he becomes first minister in the 2026 Holyrood vote. 

The Scottish leader will make the pledge in his keynote speech on the opening of his party’s three-day conference in Glasgow.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer will also say “kicking the Tories out of power” is the first step to change when she addresses delegates at the SEC later.

Labour has promised to scrap ‘non-dom’ tax breaks for UK residents with foreign income, saving around £2billion a year, with £1.6bn of that earmarked for the NHS. 

Mr Sarwar said that would generate around £134m a year for Holyrood under the Barnett funding formula, and he would ensure that money went into cutting waiting lists, delivering up to 160,000 more appointments for diagnostics and procedures every year.

A record 828,00 patients, almost 1 in 6 Scots, are currently on a waiting list.

Mr Sarwar will say: “As a former dentist, I look on with despair at how this government has ruined our health service. The NHS – Labour’s greatest achievement – has been broken.

“It falls to us - once again - to fix it.

“We will put fairness back at the heart of everything we do.

“That is why a UK Labour Government will scrap the non-dom tax loophole.

“It means more money can be invested in nurses and consultants in our NHS.

“So today I commit a future Scottish Labour government to investing every penny of that in our NHS to increase capacity and drive down waiting lists. 

“That is what change means. That is why change matters.”

Ms Foyer said a future Labour government must be “unequivocally” pro-worker and urged Scottish Labour to back progressive tax rises to pay for public services.

Accusing the SNP of having “sharpened the blade” of Tory cuts with its council tax freeze plan, she will advocate major reform of council and local property taxes.

She will say: “Workers throughout Scotland have been suffering under a brutal Tory austerity regime, reinforced by short-sighted Scottish Government decisions.
“Any party of Labour – UK, Scottish or otherwise – must be unequivocally on the side of working people and build our public services back to a level worthy of our public sector workers. Kicking the Tories out of power is the first step. 

“The next is ensuring any incoming Labour Government fundamentally alters the balance of power in our economy. It shouldn’t be radical to suggest those who earn the most should invest the most into the public services we all rely on. 

“Working people deserve both UK and Scottish Labour, whether in government or not, to be on the side of our public services and progressive taxation to fund them.”

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: "Whether it's Sir Keir Starmer's refusal to end Tory austerity, Labour's conspiracy of silence on the damage of Brexit or the party's failure to back a ceasefire to end the suffering in Gaza, Labour is completely out of touch with Scotland's values.

"As Labour's branch office in Scotland meets this weekend, they need to outline how their values - to end the cap on banker's bonuses, to keep the hated two-child cap and to throw £28bn green investment pledge on the scrapheap - reflect the values of the people of Scotland.

“The SNP backs an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, is determined to end more than a decade of Tory austerity and wants to reverse the catastrophic damage of Brexit.

"At the upcoming General Election, Labour doesn’t need Scotland to win but Scotland needs SNP MPs at Westminster to stand up for Scotland’s interests. Only the SNP can make Scotland Tory-free and offer a better future for our nation with independence."

Sir Keir Starmer is expected to speak to the conference on Sunday.