5 December 2019

Richard Leonard has reiterated Labour’s commitment to support and invest in rural communities.

Labour’s plan for rural communities will revitalise the local economies and ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, has equality of opportunity under a government that is determined to move power and wealth out of London into the UK’s nations and regions.

This plan comes at a time where research has revealed that only three percent of communities in rural Scotland have full-fibre broadband and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has seen £317,000 cut from its budget by the Scottish Government.

A Labour Government means an additional £5 billion every year for Scotland's public services, including for Scotland's councils and a 5% pay increase for everyone working in Scotland's public services.

Our offer of full-fibre broadband will reconnect communities across Scotland and our Green Industrial Revolution would see thousands of high-skilled jobs created across Scotland in the onshore wind sector.

Commenting on Labour’s proposals, Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard said:

“Labour has a plan to transform this country in favour of the many and Labour will place rural communities in the vanguard of this transformation.

“For too long rural communities have been neglected by Edinburgh and London. Labour will commit to transforming and upgrading infrastructure in rural communities in order to rejuvenate local economies and provide jobs nearer to home for young people from rural areas

“Too many elderly people in rural communities suffer from social isolation and loneliness.

“By protecting the triple lock on pensions and maintaining the free TV licence for our over 75’s Labour will improve the quality of life for rural older people.

“A vote for Labour is a vote for real change. When Labour wins, everyone wins.” Labour’s offer for rural communities includes: • A Real Living Wage of £10 per hour benefitting over 2600 workers in Na H-Eileanan an Iar;

• Compensation for 1900 WASPI women in Na H-Eileanan an Iar;

• A triple-lock on pensions;

• Maintaining the free TV licence for over-75s;

• A guarantee of free, superfast, full-fibre broadband – rural communities will be connected as a priority

• Warm, affordable energy in rural homes, which could save bill-payers up to £417 a year

• A municipalised Green Bus Service guaranteeing cheaper fares;

• New Green Jobs generated through Labour’s pledge to kickstart a Green Industrial Revolution;

• A 5% increase to all public sector workers; and

• Investment in Local Businesses and industry through the proposed Scottish Investment Bank. ---
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