Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Clegg calls for 2p income tax cut

Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg was making his second visit to Glenrothes

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has called on the Scottish Parliament to cut income tax by 2p to help stimulate the ailing economy.

Mr Clegg was speaking as he made his second trip to Glenrothes ahead of next month's by-election.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited a parent-training centre.

Labour criticised the SNP's apprenticeship policy, and the Tories called for a rail line to reopen.

Mr Clegg was joined by Lib Dem candidate Harry Wills and Dunfermline and West Fife MP Willie Rennie in a visit to Thomson House, an outreach centre which gives guidance to local people on getting back into work and becoming self-employed.

Parent group

Mr Clegg said: The only serious proposal to boost the economy is the 2p tax cut put forward by Tavish Scott.

"As we slide into recession, people need to know that government is on their side. We have bailed out the banks, surely it is right that we help those families who are struggling to pay the bills this winter.

"The Scottish Parliament should follow Tavish's lead, as Alex Salmond has with HBOS, and use the powers at their disposal to cut taxes now."

Morag Balfour, Scottish Socialists
Maurice Golden, Conservative
Peter Grant, SNP
Lindsay Roy Labour
Kris Seunarine, UKIP
Harry Wills, Liberal Democrats
Louise McLeary, Solidarity
Jim Parker, Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party

SNP candidate Peter Grant was joined by Ms Sturgeon on a visit to Community Mums in Methil to meet local families, and highlight the SNP's focus on "winning a fair deal for Fife families." Community Mums recruits and train experienced parents to visit other parents, and carers, of young children in their own homes.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Community Mums is a brilliant, parent-led group helping new families through the challenges of being a parent, and offering practical advice and tips.

"There are clearly many challenges for families struggling to cope, and the SNP government is doing everything we can to make things easier for households by bringing everyday bills down in these tough times.

"In contrast the London government has done next to nothing to help, and local people are fed up being taken for granted by Labour."

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, joined Labour candidate Lindsay Roy on a visit to Adam Smith College and met local apprentices from Proclad, who are training there.

Rail link

Mr Denham said: "It's great to see first hand how Fife has made the transition from traditional sectors like mining - and has retained a solid manufacturing base - while developing the capability to move into new areas like creative industries. Colleges such as Adam Smith have played a key role in making this happen.

"I know that investment in people is the most important thing we can to attract jobs to the UK. I am very surprised that the SNP have decided to massively cut adult apprenticeship numbers.

"I wholeheartedly support Labour's proposals in the Scottish Parliament to give an individual right to an apprenticeship for all suitably qualified 16-18 year olds."

Theresa Villiers MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, joined Tory candidate Maurice Golden to highlight support for the reopening of the Thornton to Leven rail link.

Ms Villiers said: "Conservatives are leading the rail revolution across the UK and here in Fife our support for the reopening of the Thornton to Leven rail link will help grow the economy and reduce the UK's carbon footprint."

Mr Golden added: "The reopening of the Thornton to Leven rail link will really open up Levenmouth and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.

"If Levenmouth is to be a popular place to locate your business, raise a family, then we need the transport infrastructure that delivers that future."

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