Scotland Election 2016

Holyrood campaign trail focuses on jobs and pensioners

Scotland's political leaders have campaigned on pensions and productivity, with three weeks to go until the Holyrood election.

Party leaders addressed policies to protect jobs and pensioners during a day of campaigning around Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP

Nicola Sturgeon visited the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow, promising to intervene where necessary to protect Scottish industry.

Touring the shipyard alongside campaign director John Swinney, the SNP leader said stimulating the economy was the cornerstone of Scotland's future prospects.

She said a re-elected SNP government would have a "relentless focus" on innovation and productivity in a bid to create more, better-paid jobs.

She said: "One of the key ways we can continue to improve our economic performance is by working to incentivise innovation and boost our productivity - and a re-elected SNP government will put in place a series of ambitious plans to ensure our economy is able to meet its full potential."

Kezia Dugdale, Labour

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Kezia Dugdale announced plans to make sure women pensioners will not be worse off during a visit to a club in Easterhouse.

The Scottish Labour leader said her party would top up the pensions of women affected by changes to the system from Westminster.

Ms Dugdale said Labour would write to 80,000 women affected by changes, saying: "Through no fault of their own they are going to be worse off because of these changes.

"Labour has led the opposition to these cuts at Westminster and we'll carry on fighting to make sure that these women are no worse off, but I'm not going to sit and wait on the Tories to do something when we have the power to act now."

Ruth Davidson, Conservatives

Ruth Davidson said the Scottish Conservatives would use devolved powers to protect pensioners.

The Tory leader said her party would preserve heating allowances, extend the free bus pass and ensure there would be no increase in taxes.

During a photocall at New Douglas Park, the home of Hamilton Academical Football Club, Ms Davidson also said her party had plans to ensure there were more young Scottish players in Scottish clubs by reinvesting in facilities.

Willie Rennie, Lib Dems

Willie Rennie joined protestors outside the Amazon depot in Fife, calling for the Scottish government to stop giving grants to the corporation.

The Scottish Lib Dem leader urged other parties to guarantee they would stop giving support to companies which engage in tax avoidance and do not pay the living wage.

Mr Rennie said Amazon had paid £11m in tax in 2014 despite sales in Britain of £5.3bn.

He said: "Tax avoidance rules and paying workers fairly should apply to both the Davids and the Goliaths of the business world. But at the moment corporations like Amazon are being rewarded for failing to pay their workers properly and for only paying measly levels of tax."

Patrick Harvie, Greens

Image copyright Scottish Greens / Twitter

Patrick Harvie and fellow Green candidate Andy Wightman visited campaigners aiming to preserve the green space at North Kelvin Meadow in Glasgow.

The Green co-convenor also visited the Cassiltoun Housing Association in Glasgow to inspect community-run nursery facilities and discuss issues around urban land ownership.

The party has made land reform one of its key policy areas ahead of May's election.

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