Scotland Election 2016

Election 2016: Parties campaign during second week

Kez cooking
Image caption Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale tried her hand at making chapatis during a visit to a cafe in Leith

Parties are continuing to campaign ahead of the Holyrood election in May.

Nicola Sturgeon took the SNP's election message to Orkney and Shetland as campaigning continued across the country.

Elsewhere, Labour said the low paid would benefit from its tax plans.

The Conservatives highlighted their plans to help the next generation get on in life, and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie visited an outdoor adventure centre in the Borders.

Meanwhile, Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie took part in a social media question and answer session on the STV Facebook page.

Ms Sturgeon said she would use her visit to the Northern Isles to highlight the SNP's "record of delivery" for Scotland's islands.

And she said empowering island communities would be a key feature of a re-elected SNP government.

'Fabric of Scotland'

Ms Sturgeon said: "Our island communities are part of the fabric of Scotland, and after years of neglect by the previous Labour/Lib Dem executive the SNP government has done everything we can to support them."

She said her government had invested in island health and education services, supported island economies, increased the Air Discount scheme from 40% to 50% and completely frozen ferry fares for 2016-17 across Scottish government-funded services.

Ms Sturgeon added: "By giving both votes to the SNP in this election, people in Orkney and Shetland will be voting for a government which is absolutely determined to realise the potential of our island communities."

Image caption Nicola Sturgeon took part in a Q&A session on the Shetland ferry

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale visited a cafe in Leith, where she focused on the party's plans to increase income tax for those earning more than £150,000 from 45p to 50p

She argued that those on the lowest incomes would be better off under Labour's plans for income tax - which would also see the other bands raised by 1p - and a new fair property tax.

Ms Dugdale said her plans were "fair, reasonable and the only way to stop cuts to our public services", with the wealthiest people being asked to pay more "to protect our public services and to reverse Tory cuts".

'Fair share'

She added: "That means that those on the lowest incomes, under £20,000, will not pay a penny more than they do today and hundreds of thousands of families will be better off.

"Nicola Sturgeon is continuing to oppose a 50p rate of tax. She won't ask the richest 1% in Scotland to pay their fair share but she will ask our children to pay the price in cuts to schools."

Image caption Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson tried her hand behind the wheel of a selection of heavy vehicles

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson highlighted her plans to "ensure the next generation get the skills and training they need to get on in life".

During a visit to an HGV training centre, Ms Davidson highlighted three key Scottish Conservative commitments:

  • To reverse cuts to Scotland's further education sector
  • To increase the number of apprenticeships
  • To create a network of new Skills Academies

Ms Davidson said: "We need to redress the balance between vocational and academic education in this country.

"The SNP has raided Scotland's colleges and it's time we invested properly in skills training again.

"Everyone leaving school should be able to get the training and qualifications they need to get a highly skilled and well-paid job."

Image caption Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie sped down a zipwire at Go Ape in Glentross Forest

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie visited Go Ape in Glentress Forest, near Peebles, where he spoke about the scale of the challenge Scotland is facing to meet its green emissions targets.

Mr Rennie claimed the Conservatives in Westminster are "slashing green budgets" and the SNP are "taking their marching orders from airlines on an Air Passenger Duty cut that would mean big increases in emissions".

He added: "We need to see action across the board to help get Scotland greener. That means boosting renewable energy, supporting green transport, improving energy efficiency and much more.

"The SNP have left us with a lengthy to-do list if we are to reach our climate change targets.

"Liberal Democrats will take the urgent steps required to start meeting Scotland's green goals."

'Wildly irresponsible'

Mr Harvie faced questions on MSPs' pay, the named persons scheme and Scottish independence during a social media question and answer session.

Responding to questions posted on the STV Facebook page, Mr Harvie said the Greens supported plans to assign a named person to every child aged under 18 in Scotland, which have been attacked by other opposition parties.

He said: "I personally feel that the right have been wildly irresponsible in launching an unjustified attack on [the named persons scheme].

"This is simply the way child protection already operates in many parts of Scotland, and I don't believe there is any truth to the allegations of intrusion in family life."

Mr Harvie also said the Greens backed Scottish independence "for very different reasons from the SNP", but said it was "too soon to say" whether there would be a second referendum during the next parliament.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites