LiveScottish election 2021: BBC Scotland leaders' debate LIVE

Follow here for Tuesday night’s leaders debate.

With just days to go before the Scottish Parliament elections, the leaders of the major parties take to the stage for the last time to debate each other on the big issues.

Tonight’s debate will be aired on BBC One Scotland at 7.50pm and will last just over an hour.

Follow here for live updates.

Leaders' Debate from the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh. Picture shows L-R clockwise presenter Sarah Smith, Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar and Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon picture: Kirsty Anderson/BBC Scotland

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Scottish election 2021: BBC Scotland leaders’ debate RECAP

Last updated: Tuesday, 04 May, 2021, 21:57

Glen Campbell asks who has no fixed plans to change tax.

AS, WR and DR raise their hands, PH says it’s not the time do to it and NS says the discussion is “complicated”.

NS: We have no plans to raise tax in the next parliament.

She said based on assumptions on growth and tax revenues, the SNP’s manifesto commitments can be funded - and adds that it is really important “that we invest for the future” and the transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

NS: Bold manifestos are needed at this election. We have balanced the budget every year we have been in and we can afford to fund what we’ve said in our manifesto.

DR accuses NS for ‘uncosting’ the SNP manifesto clearly and that the SNP is not being “honest” with the public.

He says the priority is Covid recovery, but by the end of the parliament he would like to see parity in the tax system.

Scottish TV election debate: Nicola Sturgeon says she prefers 'four-nations approach' to reopening international travel

Read more here

NS: The next stage in this journey should be a national care service.

I think we need to reflect on the fact that just like the NHS, the care of our most vulnerable, older people should not be driven by the profit.

AS backs national care service saying he was being frank in pointing out it wouldn’t be getting into public hands overnight.

DR points out the success of some private care homes during the pandemic and says NS point undermines the work of private care homes over the last year.

PH said that eventually there should be a non-profit and default public sector expectation. It’s fair to say they take the strongest line on this.

PH: Care work is critical and should not be seen as low paid work.

He said the government needs to look at stopping the care system being run in a ‘fragmented way’.

WR: We are very wary of a nationalised care service because we don’t want to see a repeat of what’s happened with the centralisation of the police.

I think what we need to do now is invest in the skills and the talents of the staff because that is the way we will get a care service fit for service.

We should not make the same mistakes we have made in the past with a national care service.

The care service was not fit for service when the pandemic came along.

NS: The pandemic has shown the strengths of our care service.

Douglas Ross on £15 minimum for social care workers

DR: We have to look at what they are asking for and what is achievable

He pointed to a looming economic crisis ahead and said discussions need to be had with unions and staff in care.

Where do the leaders stand on social care?

AS: The biggest tragedies in this pandemic were in care homes.

In this pandemic we have seen an inconsistency of care across the country. So let’s have national standards, let’s have a human rights based approach around our care service, let’s have national bargaining, collective bargaining around the pay of social care workers.

He said workers in social care need to see £15 an hour minimum.

Speaking about the care service AS said: “If we are going to deliver over the course of the next parliament there has to be a partnership between the public service, volunteer sector and also the private sector.

A fair degree of consensus among the leaders on the topic of international travel, says Glen Campbell

DR: We have to support our local tourism industry who have really suffered during this pandemic.

Willie Rennie responds:

WR: ‘Caution’ should be the watchword through all of this.

He said we need consistency across the UK and to make sure that new variants do not come back or evolve in the country.

He said we need to ramp up testing of people coming in and leaving the country so that those who have the virus are detected as soon as possible.

Four nations approach?

Anas Sawar (AS) responds:

AS: I think a consistent approach would be great but we shouldn’t be afraid to do things differently in Scotland.

He stressed the importance of working with the travel industry in Scotland and improving communication with different travel bodies to ensure they have as much support as possible.

Anas Sawar and Willie Rennie confirm they will be taking a staycation this summer.

Page 2 of 4
 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.