AS the SNP and Greens have entered into talks over a potential co-operation agreement, The National has taken a look at both parties’ manifestos to see where any similarities lie. On Sunday, Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said anyone could “look at the SNP’s manifesto and look at our manifesto, and you can spot the areas where it’s likely we could have co-operation”. We’ve picked out the key policy areas where they will likely co-operate, and issues which may become a sticking point.


BOTH parties voiced a commitment to keeping the NHS in public hands during the election campaign. They have slightly differing plans on how to increase staff numbers, with the SNP promising at least 100 more medical training places and the Greens focusing on expanding General Practice with a commitment to more funding for the sector. Both also back a

bursary for student paramedics, having a cancer recovery plan to deal with the backlog of cases, more mental health and wellbeing support for NHS staff and the establishment of a new National Care Service.

READ MORE: Why an SNP-Green collaboration could be start of something great for Scotland


THE SNP and Greens both want to increase the number of houses available to buy at an affordable price and for social rent, but the numbers differ slightly. The SNP promised 100,000 affordable homes by 2032. The Greens want to build 70,000 homes by 2026 and a further 50,000 homes between 2027 and 2032, with 70% for social rent. They have also both committed to ending homelessness and decarbonising heating in homes.


A UNIVERSAL basic income was high on both priority lists and even made an appearance during the televised debates. Both have said they want to see feasibility pilots rolled out based on a previous study conducted by the Scottish Government. Ending child poverty through extending free school meals and other funding is also high on the list.


THE Greens want to bring climate education into the classroom, as well as teaching the importance of Britain’s colonial history, a topic the SNP also support. The SNP hope to recruit 3500 additional teachers and classroom assistants and have allocated £1 billion to closing the attainment gap. The Greens want 5500 new permanent teachers, to reduce class sizes and end assessments for P1-P3.


CREATING more jobs also featured in both manifestos but with slight differences on how this will be achieved. The SNP promised more than £500 million over the next parliament to support new jobs and reskilling workers, as well as £100m for a green jobs fund and increasing investment in the National Infrastructure Mission by an annual investment of £1.5 billion to £7bn by 2025-26, which would support an estimated 45,000 jobs. The Greens, however, have focused their jobs push on the renewables industry and other environmental areas, such as a Rail for All scheme which would cost £3.3bn as the first stage of a 20-year programme to renew railways and create 16,800 jobs, 75,000 jobs through a £3bn investment in zero-carbon homes, 10,000 jobs in renewables such as onshore wind and tidal, and more than 6000 rural jobs to restore Scotland’s natural green environment.


THE Greens were the only party to back ending oil and gas exploration in Scotland, and moving over to renewable energies. The SNP, although they have said they will invest £15m to support workers to retrain and learn new skills, did not make the same commitment, but have said they will deliver a just transition for workers in affected industries. The Greens, by nature, have a raft of environmental policies to bring Scotland closer to net-zero emissions, as do the SNP.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: Are Greens radicals or a noisy pressure group living off SNP?


TAXATION levels could be a sticking point, with the SNP promising to freeze income tax bands over the next parliament, while the Greens favour a progressive approach where the wealthy will pay more. The Greens also want to introduce a windfall on pandemic profit by larger companies, scrap council tax and introduce a millionaire’s tax on the wealthiest 10% who have wealth and assets above a £1m threshold. The SNP have said they are committed to reforming council tax.

The National:


THERE is a lot that both the SNP and Greens agree on, but the devil is in the details.

Combing through both manifestos you can see the threads of agreement – on recovery from the pandemic, creating more jobs, more investments in renewables, universal basic income and ending some of the plights on our society like homelessness, child poverty and the much-hated council tax.

But there are differences. The Greens, co-led by Patrick Harvie, sit much farther to the left on the political spectrum than the SNP and this shines through as almost all of their policies link back to one big issue – the climate crisis. The SNP also weaved their plan to tackle the issue through their manifesto, but it’s undeniable that the Greens have more expertise in this area.

The SNP have already made their policies more progressive, but they certainly don’t have any radical plans like the Greens do to stop oil and gas exploration completely, something which is pretty central to Scotland reaching net-zero emissions. On tax too, the Greens want to tax the rich, and stop the poorest in society paying more, whereas the SNP have simply committed to the status quo with an income tax freeze.

And council tax, which has dogged political discourse in Scotland for years, is definitely in need of desperate reform. Can the Greens actually push the SNP to go through with it this time? And will they also push the SNP towards a fairer tax plan, and finally get the richest to pay up?

Although there could be tricky times ahead as the small details are thrashed out, the Greens co-operating with the SNP could help us move towards a fairer, progressive Scotland, just that bit quicker, and might push the SNP, who have been in power for 14 years, to take a bit of a different tactic as we try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for Glasgow to be on the world stage during COP26.

At the very least, both parties support a second independence referendum during the second half of the parliamentary term after the Covid crisis has passed, and that can only mean good things for Scotland.