Election 2015 Scotland

Scottish parties kick off week two of election campaign

Campaign leaders

Scotland's political leaders have kicked off the second full week of general election campaigning.

Jim Murphy has officially launched the Scottish Labour campaign pledge card in Neilston, Renfrewshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched the SNP's Pensioners Plan.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has highlighted income tax cuts, while Scottish Conservative MEP Dr Ian Duncan has met oil industry representatives in Aberdeen.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has officially launched his party's UK election campaign with a series of pledges to end what he called "Tory austerity".

Speaking in Neilston, East Renfrewshire, Mr Murphy outlined pledges to end zero hours contracts, eradicate food banks, and boost training and job opportunities for young people.

He said: "If the polls in Scotland are repeated on election day it'll be a good day for the SNP and a fantastic day for David Cameron.

"The biggest party has formed the government for the last 90 years.

"Only Labour can beat the Tories, only Labour is big enough and strong enough to abolish these exploitative zero hours contracts. No-one else can do that."

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Launching the SNP's pledges for pensioners at a care home in Bearsden, on the outskirts of Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon pledged to continue a triple lock in pensions; to ensure single tier pensions are set at a decent level; to resist any increase in retirement ages until Scotland's life expectancy gap has been resolved; and to maintain the winter fuel allowance.

Ms Sturgeon said the party was committed to ending austerity, with "modest spending increases".

She added: "I am immensely proud of the SNP's record in government when it comes to standing up for our older people. We've protected and extended the concessionary travel scheme which gives people the freedom they need to enjoy their lives.

"And free personal care which ensures our older people receive the standard of care they deserve regardless of their ability to pay has been one of the biggest landmarks of the devolution era.

"But there is undoubtedly more that could be done at Westminster to build on our progress in Scotland and protect the interests of older people."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has been highlighting the tax cut brought about by increasing income tax allowances.

On the campaign trail in a Galashiels supermarket, Mr Rennie said: "Thanks to the Lib Dems in government, people have got £825 back in their pockets.

"That's the big tax cut we have delivered for workers.

"It's the biggest tax cut for workers there has ever been and it means that for people shopping in a store like this, they can have £68 a month extra in groceries."

For the Scottish Conservatives, MEP Dr Ian Duncan has been meeting oil industry representatives in Aberdeen.

He said: "The tax breaks and support which George Osborne delivered are exactly what the oil and gas industry need to safeguard jobs and investment.

"That is what you get when you vote Scottish Conservative - jobs and growth as part of a long-term economic plan.

"Nicola Sturgeon has said she would vote Green if she lived in England. The Green party would stop every pump, every drill today and not look back. We must not let the North Sea be held to ransom by the SNP."

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