SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched her party’s manifesto, with a focus on a sustainable, job-centred recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sturgeon reflected on lessons she has learned during the crisis, and promoted the commitment and experience of her party.

The SNP pledge to deliver a 20 per cent increase to frontline NHS spending and to establish a national Care Service with a 25 per cent increase in social care spending.

A further £1 billion will be invested to close the attainment gap and recruit an extra 3500 teachers and classrooms assistants, as well as free breakfast and lunches to all primary school pupils.

The full manifesto can be accessed here

The Scottish Child Payment will also be rolled out to all pupils who receive free school meals, and will be doubled to £20 per week over the next parliament.

The party pledged to invest £33 billion over the next five years in the “National Infrastructure Mission” as part of recovery plans for an economic transformation.

On green transport, the SNP say they will provide free bikes to all school children who cannot afford them, remove fossil fuel buses from public transport by 2023, bring ScotRail into public ownership with plans to decarbonise rail by 2035, and improve investment in active travel.

A Minister for Just Transition would be appointed to oversee the move away from fossil fuels, Sturgeon said.

“In this manifesto the SNP is setting out a serious programme for serious times. It is practical but unashamedly optimistic - and it is transformational in its ambition,” she told the launch.

“Anyone, and any party, aspiring to govern in these times must rise to the occasion. They must capture a sense of possibility and build hope for a better country and a better world.

“A Scotland founded on compassion and love, where we look out for one another in a spirit of solidarity, where everyone is valued equally, in which we celebrate our rich diversity and where we welcome those who choose to make our country their home. A nation of fulfilling jobs, financial security, happy homes and healthy families.

“A nation optimistic about the future.”

Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her party's manifesto

On independence, the First Minister again pledged to give Scots the right to have their say in a referendum after the coronavirus crisis.

She said Westminster is using its powers to “take Scotland in the wrong direction”.

“I believe passionately that with the powers of independence we can do so much more for Scotland. I look around Europe and I see independent countries, of similar size to us, that are among the wealthiest, fairest and happiest in the world. If Denmark and Norway and Ireland can do it, then with all our resources and talent, why not Scotland?” she asked.