Nicola Sturgeon has published an action plan for the first 100 days of her new government to kick-start the recovery from coronavirus.
The First Minister and SNP leader was in the Aberdeenshire West constituency on Thursday to launch the publication titled First Steps, setting out plans for economic support, NHS recovery and help for school pupils.
But Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar immediately said it is “not credible” to claim all the issues can be responded to within 100 days.
The party leaders were speaking as the final week of campaigning got under way ahead of the Scottish Parliament election on May 6.
Launching First Steps, Ms Sturgeon said: “By backing the SNP with both votes, Scotland will be able to make real progress through and out of the pandemic in the first 100 days, with a pay rise for NHS workers, new cancer centres opened, support for small businesses to go digital, new training courses to help young people into jobs, and immediate action to tackle the climate crisis.
“We’ll take urgent action to support children, families and young people – completing the rollout of 1,140 hours of free childcare, expanding free school meals, paying the first instalment of the expanded £1 billion Scottish Attainment Fund and introducing the legal changes to extend free bus travel to everyone under 22 years old.
“We will also start work on longer term challenges, establishing a new Council for Economic Transformation, taking the first steps toward establishing a National Care Service and beginning work on a minimum income guarantee.”
She added that independence would allow Scotland to do “so much more”.
Meanwhile, in Stirling, Mr Sarwar launched a new Labour campaign bus urging voters to back the party in the regional list vote.
He said: “I think the fundamental mistake the SNP are making is they want people to believe that the crisis ends the day lockdown ends or when the virus finally disappears, that’s just simply not credible and not true.
“We have taken an economic hit even sharper and deeper than the banking crisis, and that took us 10 years to recover from. I don’t want us to take 10 years to recover from the pandemic.”
Protecting jobs, tackling the NHS backlog and dealing with the climate emergency will take longer than 100 days, he said, adding: “The idea that we complete all of those challenges in 100 days when the party’s been in government for 14 years and Nicola Sturgeon’s been First Minister for seven years is simply not credible and not good enough.”
He said Scottish Labour is the only party showing “momentum”, and he added he is pleased with his personal opinion poll ratings.
“I think it’s pretty obvious which political leader is most enjoying this election campaign, which political leader is showing the most energy in this campaign,” he said.
The Scottish Conservatives said the SNP’s “real” 100-day plan would involve a push for indyref2.
Party leader Douglas Ross said: “If they win a majority, Nicola Sturgeon will claim a mandate for indyref2 by Monday.
“They’ll have demanded a Section 30 order and started work on a new white paper within weeks.
“Statement after statement will demand a referendum date before Scotland’s recovery from Covid.
“An indyref2 Bill was the last thing they did in the previous Scottish Parliament term and it will be the first thing they do in the next term, unless pro-UK voters unite and use their peach ballots for the Scottish Conservatives to stop them.”
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