Politicians court Scottish families

Politicians have been focusing on families on the Scottish election trail.

The SNP unveiled their ‘family-friendly’ policies today, after Labour and the Liberal Democrats made their own commitments to families yesterday.

“Hard working families” would benefit from an SNP-led Scotland, the party’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon promised today.

SNP policies designed to “make life easier” for families include; flexible working, improved access to childcare, investment in education including small class sizes, first-time buyers’ grants worth £2,000 to help young buyers, abolishing the council tax, more police and protecting local health services.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The SNP stands for success for Scotland, and a better life for Scotland’s hard working families. That’s why we are committed to working hard to make life easier and fairer for families up and down the country.

“I believe that we should do everything we can in government to make a positive difference to the everyday lives of families, not just in one or two areas, but across the board.”

Yesterday, the Liberal Democrats launched their Bright Future for Families manifesto, also promising to “make life easier for families across Scotland.”

Commitments include a free playgroup place for all two-year-olds, maximum class sizes of 25 in primary one to three, and an hour of PE each day. Like the SNP, the Lib Dems also claim families will benefit from plans to abolish council tax.

Lib Dem leader Nicol Stephen said: “At this election the Liberal Democrats are focused on getting things done. Our manifesto for families will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Labour set out their own Sunrise Agenda, aimed at families and young people. A £100 million ‘sunrise fund’ would lead investment in children aged 0 to 7-years-old. Labour also promised to expand entitlement to free school meals and increase access to nursery education.

Labour leader Jack McConnell said: “We want young Scots to have the best possible start in life.

“Quality childcare, family support and nursery education give our youngest children the best chance to succeed, and give society the best reassurance that youngsters will not go off the rails later in life.”

Meanwhile, David Cameron joined the Conservative election trail in Scotland. The Conservative leader will speak on the strength of the union, in a move away from the Tories’ normal strategy of campaigning on ‘bread and butter’ issues.