NNicola Sturgeon has described Trident and the House of Lords as “twin relics” in the latest round of election campaigning.
The SNP leader said that Britain’s nuclear weapons system and Westminster’s upper chamber demonstrate an “out of date, out of touch” style of government that left the taxpayer “out of pocket”.
She challenged the opposition parties to back the SNP in opposing Trident renewal and supporting a “democratic alternative” to the House of Lords.
“In election campaigns it’s important for parties to make their core values clear, so let me put this on record – the SNP will always oppose the costly and dangerous Trident nuclear weapons and we will always oppose the democratic outrage that is the House of Lords,” she said.
“Our opponents who support these twin relics are guilty of a style of politics that is out of date, out of touch and leaves the taxpayers out of pocket.”
As Ms Sturgeon highlighted her views on the cost of Trident and the House of Lords, her Scottish Labour opponent Kezia Dugdale vowed to make taxing the rich a key priority.
She focused on her party’s plan to use new powers over income tax coming to Holyrood to introduce a 50p rate for top earners during a campaign visit to Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire.
She also highlighted analysis by think tank IPPR Scotland showing that Labour’s tax plans, which also include a 1p increase to the basic rate of income tax, would raise £900 million more than the SNP by 2020/21.
The Labour leader said the extra funds would be channelled towards two other key priorities for her party – investing more in education and stopping cuts to public services.
She said: “Labour will use the powers to ask the top 1% to pay the most and stop the Scottish Parliament acting as a conveyor belt for Tory austerity.
“That’s the positive message activists and trade unionists will be making on high streets and doorsteps all across Scotland this weekend.
“Labour will set a 50p top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000 a year so we can stop the cuts and invest in education.”
Meanwhile Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie joined volunteers campaigning in Bridge of Allan, Stirling, and met voters following his party’s manifesto launch on Friday.
The Lib Dems’ flagship policy, a “penny for education” involves adding 1p to income tax for those earning more than £21,500 to raise around £500 million each year for education.
He said: “We’ve set out clear and positive plans for a transformational investment in education of half a billion pounds a year.
“Our penny for education would make such a difference. It means more kids who are struggling getting the help they need to get on in life. More toddlers in nurseries, making a big impact on their future life chances. And more young people and adults getting a second chance in college.
“The challenge for the other parties is to match our vision for a better education for Scotland’s children.”