Labour Manifesto Will 'Speak To All Of Scotland'
21 April 2016, 06:51
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has said her party's manifesto will "speak to all of Scotland''.
Labour will be the last of the main parties to publish its proposals for Holyrood after Nicola Sturgeon launched the SNP manifesto in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
Ms Dugdale, who is expected to reveal her own plans next week, said "the Labour Party I lead aspires to represent in every corner of this country'' as she prepared for a visit to the Western Isles as part of a campaign tour from Dumfries-shire to Stornoway.
Specific Labour pledges to help island communities include a commitment to build 60,000 new homes, #100 million to extend coverage of superfast broadband, the establishment of Skills Scotland, a new agency for jobs and work, and more freedom for local government to raise revenues, including the option to introduce a tourist tax.
The party has also pledged to protect ferry services by keeping CalMac in public hands and ``immediately halting the unnecessary tender of the Clyde and Hebrides services''.
Ms Dugdale said: "The Labour Party I lead aspires to represent people in every corner of this country and our plan to stop the cuts and invest in public services is as relevant on our islands as in our cities.
"The SNP's cuts have meant the loss of vital local services on our islands, cuts to our schools and a fall in standards in the NHS. That is why next week we will launch a manifesto that will speak to all of Scotland.''
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Ms Sturgeon will visit the Galloway and West Dumfries constituency, where she will highlight her personal commitment to ensuring that every child has the best chance in life.
The SNP leader said: "I have set out ambitious proposals to ensure that every child has the chance to succeed in life - and if re-elected as First Minister I will ask to be judged on my success in achieving this.''
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will take to the streets in Duns in the Borders where mental health issues will be on the agenda.
He said: "The Scottish Government's mental health strategy ran out at the end of last year.
"New figures have shown that the result of this breathtaking complacency is that millions of pounds of mental health funding is sitting unallocated in the Government's bank account.
"This money should be spent to tackle urgent problems in mental health. We can't wait on the SNP.''
Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will visit a nursery in Edinburgh and the Scottish Greens will mark John Muir day near Dunbar.