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Theresa May’s decision to scrap bursaries for nurses and midwives in England and Wales as one of the first acts of the new Prime Minister is a “depressing insight” into the priorities of the new government, the SNP has said today – and stands in stark contrast to the Prime Minister’s rhetoric since taking office.

The decision – sneaked out in amongst a series of announcements – stands in stark contrast to the rhetoric the new Prime Minister has sought to employ since taking office, promising to “do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you”.

The SNP in government is fully committed to protecting free tuition and bursaries for nursing students in Scotland.


Martin Docherty-Hughes MP commented:

“Make no mistake, Theresa May is one of the most right wing Prime Ministers this country has seen and despite the rhetoric coming from number 10, the public can expect more austerity and detriment to our communities.

“Promises to the working people of the UK are dissolving with her actions, and while it is a cliché, actions really do speak louder than words and the actions of the new Prime Minister’s Government look set be as regressive, harmful and ill thought out as David Cameron’s.

“As with any policy announcement that has spending implications, there may adverse repercussions for the Scottish budget through the Barnett Formula. I will be keeping a close eye on the potential knock on effects and with my SNP colleagues, we’ll ensure that any cuts the UK Government tries to impose on the Scottish Budget by stealth are brought to light and challenged in Parliament.”

SNP MSP Emma Harper – who is a qualified nurse – added:

“Theresa May has decided to cut bursaries for student nurses and midwives as one of her first acts in Downing Street – giving working people a depressing insight into the priorities she’ll pursue in government.

“And the fact that the Tory government tried to sneak this announcement out just before recess shows that even they are embarrassed by this regressive, unfair move.

“Our nurses do vital work which is too often underappreciated, which is why the SNP in government is clear that we will continue to protect free tuition and bursaries for nursing students.

“Nurses and other working people across the UK now see Theresa May’s empty rhetoric for what is – and hard-working nurses in Scotland can rest assured that in Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, they have a government who will always stand up for their interests.”


The announcement can be found here:

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