Election 2021: Edinburgh Southern candidates clash over leaflet listing SNP 'achievements'

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An SNP candidate has been accused of misleading voters over a list of Nationalist achievements in an election leaflet.

Edinburgh Southern candidate Catriona MacDonald boasted in the flyer: “Voting SNP has delivered…..” with a dozen bullet points including “Short-term let regulation” and “Free bus travel”.

But Edinburgh Southern’s Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said both these claims were “straightforwardly not true”.

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Legislation to license short-term lets and allow specified areas to be declared control zones in a bid to tackle the problem of Airbnb-style accommodation was dropped amid criticism shortly before the election with a promise to bring it back in the next parliament.

The front of the leaflet causing the controversyThe front of the leaflet causing the controversy
The front of the leaflet causing the controversy

Free bus travel for over-60s was introduced by the Labour-led coalition in the first term of the Scottish Parliament when Sarah Boyack was Transport Minister. Legislation was approved earlier this year for free bus travel for under-19s, a key demand of the Greens in last year’s budget negotiations, though it has yet to come into effect. And as part of ths year’s budget deal with the Greens the SNP agreed to expand it to anyone under 22.

Mr Johnson said the Nationalists regularly claimed credit for Labour’s introduction of free bus travel for the over-60s and claimed they had blocked attempts to regulate short-term lets under the planning bill. He said Ms MacDonald “might want to check what actually happened”.

But Ms MacDonald said: “The SNP have introduced free bus travel for younger people in addition to older people and we are committed to short-term let regulation although it was unexpectedly pushed back.”

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The leaflet lists what 'Voting SNP has delivered'The leaflet lists what 'Voting SNP has delivered'
The leaflet lists what 'Voting SNP has delivered'

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