July 4 in Scotland presents a junction – it’s either progressing into further disorder, hardship, and regression with the Conservatives, or embracing a decade of national rejuvenation with Labour.

Labour made public its UK manifesto the previous week, outlining the initial steps it intends to take in transforming and renewing our nation after 14 years of Conservative missteps.

The manifesto highlights the transformative impact a Labour government would have for individuals from all corners of the UK – promising increased pay, reduced bills, and more opportunities.

Central to Labour’s manifesto is a commitment to reestablish economic stability and growth. A robust economy is integral to our plans for fostering a fairer, more affluent Glasgow and Scotland more broadly – as we believe our current state isn’t the best we can achieve.

The economic turbulence created by the Conservatives has inflicted hardship on thousands of Scots – but with Labour in power, people across Scotland can look forward to a government that is decidedly on their side.

We aim to cease Tory austerity and augment funding for public services.

However, our policies won’t force the working class to pay the price. Instead, our financial plan includes levying a windfall tax on the massive profits of oil and gas companies, ceasing tax breaks for private schools, going after tax evaders, and closing non-dom tax loopholes for the ultra-wealthy.

In the meantime, the SNP persists in espousing its confusing stance: advocating for tax increases on nurses whilst suggesting reductions for large energy multinationals and private schools. Our New Deal for Working People intends to reward hundreds of thousands of Scots with a pay rise, end fire and rehire practices, abolish abusive zero-hour contracts, and reinforce immediate rights for workers.

Our strategy for a publicly-owned GB Energy Company based in Scotland aspires to reduce bills, generate 69,000 green jobs, and cement Scotland’s position as a sustainable energy titan.

By elevating wages and cutting costs, we can address poverty head-on.

We plan to inject funding into public services and allocate additional millions for Scotland’s NHS to address the unacceptably prolonged waiting lists. Our plans could provide an extra 160,000 appointments annually, to spare Scots the difficult choice between enduring an indefinite waiting list or exhausting their savings for private treatment.

We will create jobs, help first-time buyers and provide a pay rise for young people who the Conservatives have sorely let down.

We will optimise Scotland’s influence in government and on a global scale, with a Scotland Office that prioritises the issues that are important to you.

Labour seeks to give the Scotland Office a major uplift so it can better serve Scotland’s people, bolstered by a budget of millions meant for investment in Glasgow and Scotland at large and the eradication of poverty, and we plan to fortify and reconfigure devolution so that Scotland can benefit once again.

This is a window of opportunity for transformative change that we cannot ignore. It’s but the initial phase of our quest to rejuvenate our country. To facilitate the change that Scotland necessitates, we require a paradigm shift in Holyrood too – because nearly two decades of SNP administration have debilitated every single institution in Scotland.

This week, Scottish Labour is set to publish our manifesto, offering an in-depth view of Labour’s transformative plans for Scotland.

The manifesto will also map out our road towards the 2026 Scottish Parliament elections, illustrating how Scottish Labour can utilise the devolved powers at our disposal to advance our nation.

The SNP has frequently neglected the benefits of devolution, preferring to focus on their limitations rather than their capabilities.

After 17 years at the helm, the SNP can no longer shirk the blame for their policies. Healthcare is fully devolved and currently nearly one in six Scots find themselves on an NHS waiting list.

The SNP opted to slash its affordable housing budget amidst a housing crisis, imposing a cut that was five times greater than the Conservative’s cut to the Scottish Government’s capital budget.

Scotland has been let down by not one, but two ineffective governments – and Labour can introduce changes in both Westminster and Holyrood. After 14 laborious years, we now have a chance to unseat this chaotic and malfunctioning Conservative government, which has imposed austerity on the working class and compromised standards in public life.

And the subsequent step must be a new regime in Holyrood – a government that is singularly focused on the issues that matter to you.

The current state is not the zenith of what we can achieve. Change is achievable, and this week Scottish Labour will lay out our plan to make it happen, by harnessing powers on all levels of government.

We can usher in a decade of national rejuvenation and vote in a Labour government that is on your side, with Scotland’s voice central to its mission. We can reinstate integrity in politics and call an end to Tory and SNP scandal and corruption.

We together possess the opportunity to bring about the change that our country so sorely needs. Come July 5, it’s either Labour or the Tories that will form the next government – let’s ensure it’s a Labour government.