Scots will face a “choice of values” at the next election, Humza Yousaf has said, as he is set to pit the SNP against Labour in a speech to trade unionists.

The First Minister will address the STUC congress in Dundee on Tuesday as he talks up his accomplishments in his first year in office and sets up the general election expected this year.

His Government, the First Minister is expected to say, “delivered progressive taxation”, an ask of the STUC in the SNP leadership contest last year, increased the Scottish Child Payment, but only by inflation instead of the more substantial increase called for by poverty campaigners and has consistently supported a ceasefire in Gaza and the end to Israeli arms sales.

“The upcoming general election is going to be a choice of values, it is about who will stand by their principles, and stand by the interests of working people and of Scotland,” he will tell delegates.

But the First Minister will also pit the SNP against the party led by Sir Keir Starmer, who he has repeatedly said will be the UK’s next prime minister.

He was “disappointed” not to have received a reply to entreaties to meet with Sir Keir earlier this year.

“I know that people in this country want to see politicians put aside differences where we can and work in the interests of households across Scotland, and the UK,” he will say.

Scots can be “absolutely clear” what the SNP stands for, he will say, outlining differences between his party and Labour on spending plans, workers’ rights, benefits and nuclear weapons.

This week, Sir Keir stated that the party’s commitment to the UK’s nuclear deterrent was “total”, but the First Minister will tell the congress the “hundreds of billions of pounds” spent “could be invested in our people and our public services”.

“Keir Starmer’s values will see him lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses, but not lift the two-child benefit cap, those are the wrong values and wrong priorities,” the First Minister will say.

“In this election, Scotland has a choice of values, and I will be calling on people to vote for what they believe in, and vote for a progressive future for Scotland that I know we all want to see.”

Jackie Baillie
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the next election was about removing the Tories (Jane Barlow/PA)

But Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the choice at the next election was “between five more years of this rotten Tory government and change with Labour”.

“The SNP cannot lecture anyone on values as long as it is defending the eye-watering profits of oil and gas giants while hiking taxes on working people,” she added.

“This is an SNP government that slashed £50 million from the Fair Work budget, which was earmarked to improve the conditions of low paid social care staff.

“Labour will transform workers’ rights in Scotland and across the UK with our New Deal for Working People, which will strengthen employment rights, end exploitative zero hour contracts and fire and rehire, and deliver a genuine living wage.

“Only Labour can boot the Tories out of office and deliver the change Scotland needs – from making work pay to cutting bills to renewing public services.”

While Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy said: “Humza Yousaf and the SNP continue to ignore Scotland’s real priorities in order to push their independence obsession at every turn.

“As a result, Scotland is stuck.

“Since his promotion to Bute House he has doubled down on making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, with the majority of workers now paying more tax than those down south.

“This comes at the same time as the SNP are making huge cuts to public services in their tax-and-axe budget.

“In swathes of seats across Scotland, it is only the Scottish Conservatives who are capable of beating the SNP and putting the focus firmly back on Scotland’s real priorities.”