Anas Sarwar reveals five-point recovery plan in Scottish Labour manifesto
Anas Sarwar called for a focus on recovery as he unveiled Scottish Labour's manifesto ahead of the election.
The Scottish Labour leader said Scotland deserves better than the "old politics" and "re-running old arguments" as he took aim at rival parties.
He revealed his five-point plan tailored to helping the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on jobs, the NHS, education, climate and the community.
Among the policy pledges in the manifesto are plans for a 'jobs for recovery' guarantee, aimed at helping young people and those out of work, a £75 prepaid card for every adult to help Scotland's high streets, and the 'Great Scottish Staycation', with an offer of third-night free accommodation to support the tourism industry.
Scottish Labour also wants to provide every school pupil with a personal comeback plan, prioritise cancer treatment and care in NHS recovery, and recruit a mental health worker to every GP practice.
A pledge was also made to raise carers' pay immediately to £12 per hour, if the party is elected.
They also want to see investment in green jobs and use the opportunity of COP26 to champion an ambitious climate justice plan.
Speaking at the launch, Sarwar said he was "calling time on the old politics" and did not want to spend the next parliament focusing on the timing of another independence referendum "or battles in the courts".
He said: "This is not a normal election. It is a pandemic election. More than 10,000 families in Scotland are coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
"Many more are worried about their cancer diagnosis, their children’s mental health, or whether they have a job to go back to.
"The challenges ahead of us are huge and they require us to work together. And the truth is that the politics of division has only delivered more poverty and greater inequality.
"We can’t afford our politics to go on like this for the next five years. I’m calling time on the old politics. Scotland deserves better.
"Just imagine what we could achieve if we come together and focus on what unites us, not what divides us.
"We have a politics that speaks to 100% of people in Scotland, not just the 50% the SNP and the Tories want to speak to.
"So let’s not spend the next five years on re-running old arguments, or the timing of a vote, or battles in the courts.
"Let’s spend the next five years on a national recovery."