Humza Yousaf is to pledge an additional £300 million for the NHS in Scotland over the subsequent three years – saying the money might cut back ready lists by 100,000 by 2026.
The Scottish First Minister and SNP chief will announce further funding as he makes his keynote speech to his social gathering’s annual convention on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s his first convention since taking up from Nicola Sturgeon as social gathering chief and first minister in March this yr – nevertheless it comes at a time when his social gathering is seeing help slip within the polls, whereas a police investigation into inner SNP funds remains to be ongoing.
Mr Yousaf will use his speech to the gathering in Aberdeen to insist that help for independence may be elevated to a “sustained majority”.
After a debate in regards to the social gathering’s technique for independence earlier within the convention, Mr Yousaf will stress the SNP should now “focus not on the how – however on the why” of independence.
As a part of that he’ll search to place the problem of the financial system on the coronary heart of the marketing campaign, claiming independence would assist with “elevating dwelling requirements” and constructing a “stronger financial system”.
With the newest figures displaying there have been 820,352 Scots on an NHS ready record on the finish of June, Mr Yousaf – who was well being secretary earlier than turning into first minister – will use his speech to announce new money to attempt to cut back the quantity who’re ready.
He’ll insist that post-Covid ministers are “working arduous to cut back NHS ready occasions” with a “vital discount within the longest waits” having been seen since targets for this have been introduced final July.
However he’ll add: “I’m asserting in the present day that in every of the subsequent three years we’ll make investments an additional £100 million to chop ready lists.
“This extra funding will allow us to maximise capability, construct better resilience within the system and ship year-on-year reductions within the variety of sufferers who’ve waited too lengthy for remedy.
“That may cut back ready lists by an estimated 100,000 sufferers by 2026.”
Talking on BBC Radio Scotland on Tuesday, Wellbeing Economic system Secretary Neil Grey hinted that the funding for the pledge has not but been discovered inside the Scottish Authorities funds.
“Clearly, we now have to search out it inside a hard and fast funds,” he mentioned.
“And there might be discussions throughout Authorities as to the place that comes from.
“We don’t have the identical luxurious of an peculiar authorities to have the ability to borrow to put money into public companies to the detriment of one other funds.”
On the problem of independence, Mr Yousaf will say that already “round half” of Scots help the nation leaving the UK.
“I’ve little doubt that we will flip that half right into a sustained majority,” the SNP chief will add.
However he’ll inform supporters that might be achieved when the social gathering focuses “not on the how – however on the why” of independence.
With the SNP having now agreed that successful a majority of Scottish seats within the subsequent UK election ought to see the Scottish Authorities push for talks with Westminster on independence, Mr Yousaf will declare: “On the subsequent election, web page one, line one among our manifesto will say ‘Vote SNP for Scotland to change into an impartial nation’.
“And that’s as a result of independence is about constructing a greater Scotland.
“It’s about elevating dwelling requirements. It’s about defending our NHS. Above all, it’s a few stronger financial system. An financial system that works for everybody who lives right here.”
Mr Grey additionally rejected assertions that Ms Sturgeon didn’t overshadow her successor when she appeared on the convention on Monday.
Given rapturous applause each inside and out of doors the convention corridor, the previous first minister advised a media scrum she absolutely backs the independence technique voted on by members on Sunday.
Mr Grey mentioned: “Nicola is a celebration member like another delegate, like me, like my department members, so she’s entitled to return alongside – I feel it was very welcome that she got here alongside.”
He went on to reward the previous chief as “one of many foremost politicians in Europe for her technology”.
Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy MSP mentioned: “Humza Yousaf has given up any pretence about specializing in the true priorities of the individuals of Scotland. His relentless pursuit of independence is all that issues to him.
“He has some brass neck in speaking up his further funding for Scotland’s NHS. It’s the failures of his flimsy restoration plan – produced over two years in the past – meaning one in seven Scots are languishing on an NHS ready record.
“Scotland merely can not afford the SNP losing extra taxpayers’ money and time on their constitutional obsession, when they need to be targeted on individuals’s actual priorities comparable to rising our financial system and preserving our communities protected.”