SNP branded ‘LUDICROUS’ over four-day week plans 'costing £2.5billion'

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On Monday, Scottish finance minister Kate Forbes is expected to call on the Scottish Government to undertake a review of working practices, “including the possibility of a four-day working week”. The Scottish Conservatives claim delivering the plan without cutting staff salaries or services would cost £2.5 billion, including £1.5 billion for the NHS.

Additionally, schools would require an extra £430 million, Police Scotland an extra £431 million, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service an additional £108 million and Scottish Prison Service a further £43 million, the Tories said.

They insist the £2.5 billion figure is only the starting point – because there would be extra costs involved for all public services, including civil servants running the Scottish Government.

In a press release Maurice Golden MSP, the Scottish Conservative economy spokesman, said: “This ludicrous SNP plan would blow a £2.5 billion pound hole in the Scottish Budget every year.

“Pushing ahead with this nonsense would mean choosing between shutting public services or finding billions of pounds extra to keep our schools, hospitals and emergency services operating at the same capacity as they do now.

“So the SNP need to explain this cavalier approach and tell the public if their preference is to inflict savage cuts on public services or force us to put up with a four-day school system and hurt the NHS.

“This is right up there with all the fantasy nationalist plans to freely print money and use whatever currency they fancy. SNP ministers clearly don’t live in the real world.”

The proposal is set to be debated at this weekend’s virtual SNP conference.

In May, Nicola Sturgeon asked private firms to “embrace” a four-day working week as the country adapts to life after lockdown.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon outlines how she plans to secure independence

“It is absolutely right that we discuss progressive policies like this as we look to improve the lives of people in Scotland and support our economic recovery in the coming years.

“The SNP won’t be taking any lectures on workers’ rights from the party who opposed the minimum wage and now want to scrap the 48-hour limit on a working week.”

Boris Johnson has also faced calls to introduce a four-day working week from Labour MPs.

They say it will help the country’s economic recovery and the public’s mental health.

Other European Governments are also being urged to consider a shorter working week.

Campaigners including politicians from Germany and Spain have written a letter to push for the change to be considered, arguing for a reduction in working hours, while remaining on full pay. readers disagreed with the idea in a recent poll.

The poll on November 17 saw a huge 87 percent (5,383 readers) vote against the proposal.

Former Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell pledged to reduce working hours for Britons in the lead-up to last December’s general election if the party were victorious.

The proposal involved reducing the average working week by five hours to 32 hours within the next decade, without Britons losing out on any pay.

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