Scotland Election 2016

Holyrood 2016: Party leaders set out poverty plans

The leaders of Scotland's major political parties have largely been focusing on how best to reduce poverty levels and inequality as they continued campaigning ahead of the election on 5 May.

But there were lighter moments among the heavy policy discussions - with Ripley the fish eagle stealing the show during one political leader's visit to a falconry centre.

Elsewhere, UKIP became the first of the country's six largest parties to formally unveil its election manifesto.


Nicola Sturgeon - SNP

Image copyright PA

Ms Sturgeon said that providing new nurseries would be "the biggest infrastructure project of the next government" if she is returned to power.

She said the move would enable her to meet her promise of doubling child care hours for three and four year olds.

Ms Sturgeon was speaking as she visited a project in Glasgow working with vulnerable and isolated families.

She also said the SNP manifesto next week would prioritise action to help the poor and disadvantaged.


Kezia Dugdale - Scottish Labour

Ms Dugdale was campaigning at a credit union in Paisley, where she repeated her commitment to asking the wealthiest in society to pay more tax to help the most disadvantaged.

She outlined her commitment to sign up in full to the recommendations of the Eisenstadt report, which was published in January and sets out 15 measures to lift people out of poverty.

Ms Dugdale said: "It's not good enough for Scottish politicians to talk about being anti-poverty when we have the opportunity to actually do something about it.

"Labour's plan is clear - we'll ask the wealthiest few to pay just a little bit more. The price of not doing that - more cuts, more jobs lost and more children living in poverty - is simply too great."


Ruth Davidson - Scottish Conservatives

Ms Davidson was out on the campaign trail in Edinburgh, where she spoke about supporting the high street and local businesses while on a visit to a chocolate shop.

Ms Davidson said the party would be looking at flexible childcare for one and two-year-olds as part of its anti-poverty strategy.

She said the full details of the strategy would be revealed in the Conservative manifesto, which will be published next week.


Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats

Mr Rennie had a close encounter with Ripley the fish eagle as he paid a visit to a falconry centre in Fife.

He said his party would stand up for rural Scotland, which he said had been "badly let down" by the SNP.

He also promised the Lib Dems would give farmers the support they need by sorting out the delayed CAP payments, and ensure supermarkets pay a fair price for produce.


Patrick Harvie - Scottish Greens

Image copyright Scottish Greens

Mr Harvie visited a Street League project in Hamilton as he set out his plans to get more young people into work, education and training.

The initiative uses sport to help build young people's social skills, encouraging them into work and training.

The Scottish Greens have also launched their youth manifesto and have called for a commitment that every school leaver is offered a job, training or further education.

A similar commitment already exists in Edinburgh, and the Scottish Greens want to see it rolled out across Scotland.