Former deputy calls for U-turn
Education Secretary John Swinney should “do a Hammond” and ditch the controversial named-person scheme, former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars has said.
The veteran politician warned the Scottish Government could face years of punishment if it proceeds with the policy, which was the subject of a lengthy court battle.
Speaking at a conference organised by the No to Named Persons group (NO2NP), he also encouraged campaigners to lobby SNP backbenchers to defy ministers over fresh legislation aimed at getting the scheme up and running next year.
Mr Sillars, a vocal critic of the policy, said it would be “politically foolish” for Mr Swinney to press ahead, stating “the logical position is not to proceed”.
Referring to Chancellor
“Stop digging, get out the hole and abandon it”
Philip Hammond’s Budget U-turn on national insurance, he said: “My advice would be to do a Hammond.
“Last week the government at Westminster was in a hole. It had the brains to stop digging and my advice to this government is this isn’t going to work.
“This is going to be a punishment on you over the years ahead. Stop digging, get out the hole and abandon it.”
Mr Sillars insisted that bringing in the scheme “would sour relations between the SNP government and millions of people”.
But a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to the named-person service as a way to support children and young people by working in partnership with them and with families.”