Osborne Takes Message To Scotland

George Osborne will visit Scotland today to promote the Conservatives' economic record in the heart of the UK's oil industry.

The UK Chancellor will be campaigning in north-east Scotland, where much of the UK oil sector is based.

Meanwhile, social justice is expected to be high on the agenda for Scotland's party leaders with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon expected to highlight "the benefits of an SNP alternative to austerity'' during a visit to children's charity Barnardo's in Kirkcaldy.

Ms Sturgeon said: "In the last few days, Labour in Scotland's pretence at being anti-cuts has fallen to pieces as their bosses in London publicly put Jim Murphy in his place and made clear they would carry on with the cuts agenda - blowing a massive whole in Labour's entire Scottish election campaign.

"That Labour were so quick to fall into line with George Osborne's cuts plans is an indication of just how far they have moved away from their roots - so it's no wonder that so many people who would traditionally have voted Labour are now putting their faith in the SNP to stand up to the Tories and stand up for Scotland.''

Jim Murphy is to promote "Scottish Labour's better plan for a fairer Scotland'' during a visit to Glasgow's Social Bite cafe, a business that invests 100% of its profits in good causes.

He said: "Nicola Sturgeon has said full fiscal autonomy would mean that Scotland would have to continuously borrow its way out of the annual £7.6 billion deficit full fiscal autonomy creates.

"But every home owner knows, you can't just pay down the interest on debt with even more debt - it isn't sustainable, but that's what the SNP's plan means.

"The SNP's plan is the equivalent of turning to Wonga to pay off credit card debt. Their plans would mean borrowing to fund everyday spending on schools and education, and borrowing again to pay down the debt.

"Only Scottish Labour has a plan to invest in young people and the future of our economy. We have a £1 billion plan to give young working class Scots a better chance in life.

"Our Jobs Guarantee will give young out of work Scots a job and training, and our £1,600 Future Fund will make sure those not at college, university or in a modern apprenticeship don't get left behind.''

Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will be touring a knitwear factory in Hawick, where she is expected to give "a very special birthday present to local candidate John Lamont''.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP will promote his party's childcare policies with Edinburgh West candidate Mike Crockart at a nursery in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Socialist Party will launch its UK election manifesto, entitled Standing Up For Scotland's Working Class Majority, in Edinburgh.

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