Party Leaders Campaign In Edinburgh
23 April 2015, 06:00
The general election campaign will descend on Scotland's capital with party leaders meeting voters throughout the city.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy will say that the SNP's plan for full fiscal autonomy would "mean the end of the UK state pension'' in Scotland at a campaign event in Edinburgh.
SNP Deputy First Minister John Swinney will say that the SNP is "the only party offering an alternative to the Westminster cuts agenda'' as he speaks with voters at a cafe elsewhere in the city.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will join activists and meet the public at a street stall on the Mound in the city centre.
SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is also likely to face questions on her party's general election plans at the opening First Minister's Questions of the spring session of the Scottish Parliament.
Mr Murphy said: "There are just two weeks to save the UK state pension in Scotland from the SNP's dangerous plan for full fiscal autonomy.
"Nearly one million Scots who have worked hard all their lives deserve to enjoy their retirement in the knowledge that their state pension won't be put at risk.''
He added: "Labour has a plan to invest an extra £1 billion in Scotland's NHS and guarantee an increased state pension for retired Scots. The only way Labour can deliver on that plan is if people in Scotland vote for a Labour Government.
"A vote for anyone other than Labour risks the Tories being the largest party across the UK and David Cameron walking back into Downing Street.''
Mr Swinney said: "Both Labour and the Tories are on the wrong side of people in Scotland and many people across the UK. Austerity has failed on every measure - and it's time for a new, more progressive approach.
"The contrast between the Tory-Labour austerity alliance and the SNP's plans for investment could not be clearer - and is one of the reasons that more and more people in Scotland are putting their faith in the SNP as we approach the general election.''
Elsewhere, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will say that his is the only party who will stand up for families in Scotland as he visits a childcare centre with Argyll and Bute candidate Alan Reid.
Mr Rennie will set out Lib Dem plans for an expansion in free childcare and announce details of a families manifesto.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which predicted this week that the SNP's autonomy plans would leave a £9.7 billion gap in Scotland's finance, will add more context to the debate when it publishes its analysis of the public finance plans of Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and SNP at a briefing in London.
IFS researchers will present the implications of manifesto commitments for debt and borrowing, and for overall levels of tax and spending.