Holyrood 2016: Parties campaign on education and tax – BBC News

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Image caption Education is a key issue in the Scottish Parliament election campaign

The Holyrood election campaign resumes after the Easter weekend with the parties focused on the future.

Five party leaders will campaign in and around Edinburgh before their second televised debate.

The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will concentrate on education, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will unveil her plans to help more young people into work.

The Scottish Greens will unveil income tax policy and local tax reform plans.

The five party leaders are due to go head-to-head in a second televised debate broadcast on STV later.

Last week they clashed on the issue of income tax during a BBC Scotland debate ahead of the Holyrood election.

Ahead of the latest debate, Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens unveil reforms to the income tax system planned for once Holyrood gets power over rates and bands in April 2017.

He will also set out his party’s plans to scrap the existing council tax and replace it with a system based on up-to-date property which would hand more control to local authorities.

A Scottish Green spokesman said: “With new powers over income tax rates and bands, now is the time for Holyrood to be bold and raise revenue to reverse cuts and tackle inequality.

“Our plans will show that for that bolder Holyrood, more Green MSPs are essential.

The Liberal Democrat’s Willie Rennie will take his penny on income tax for education pledge to the streets.

He said: “Liberal Democrats have set out clear plans for education, with a transformational investment of half a billion pounds a year for nurseries, schools and colleges.

“My challenge to the other parties ahead of this debate is clear: they need to match our ambition and build a Scotland that is fit for the future.”

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Image caption The party leaders clashed on the issue of income tax during a BBC Scotland debate last week

Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson will set out her childcare commitments on a nursery visit.

Labour’s Kezia Dugdale will also focus on education, highlighting a drop in probationer teachers since the SNP first came to power.

She said: “Nicola Sturgeon claims that education is the defining priority of her government, but reality of her record just does not reflect that.

“Labour will ask those earning more than 150,000 a year to pay a bit more in tax so we can stop the cuts and invest in our schools.”

Ms Sturgeon will also be campaigning in Edinburgh, visiting a community project in the Grassmarket area.

She will say: “We will use the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to support Scotland’s young people and to grow our economy.

“I want to see all our young people start their working lives with the best possible opportunities and an equal chance of success.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35914983