Comment: A time to plan the year ahead

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As a child, there was always a certain mystery and magic to the Easter weekend.

It moved about for a start, as did the Easter school holidays and coupled with its obvious spiritual renewal for many, it heralded the arrival of Spring.

In an era before mass consumption, the treat of a chocolate egg (and one not seen on the shelves ever since Christmas) and a large family get together over a roast lamb Easter Day lunch and, if the weather allowed, a trip on by launch on the pond at Rouken Glen.

Nowadays, the Easter school holidays are fixed to the first fortnight in April, sometimes, as this year, including the Easter Weekend, sometimes not.

But that spiritual renewal remains for many, and more generally, the sense that Spring has arrived, that plans can be made for the year ahead prevails.

Of course one big plan we all have to make is the decision on May 7. Five years ago, the UK was embroiled in an economic crisis the like of which no living person had ever previously witnessed. It was a crisis made worse by Labour which in government had spent and borrowed and taken our economy to the brink.

Now, after five years of a Conservative-led coalition, we have record employment with more than 1.8m additional jobs, 56000 fewer Scots unemployed with record numbers of women working.

There are more than 35000 new Scottish businesses. Interest and mortgage rates are at record lows and inflation is at zero. Under Labour, people started paying tax at just over £5000; now the first £10600 earned is tax-free with over a quarter of a million extra working Scots no longer paying tax at all.

Every action to achieve this has been opposed by Labour nationally and here in East Renfrewshire, who refuse to accept that they did anything wrong, anything at all wrong on the economy in the past.

They claimed there would be mass unemployment and our economy would fail when in fact, this week, it became the fastest growing of any major economy in the world.

However, it is an economy recovering not yet recovered. It can withstand neither the risk of Labour abandoning all that has been achieved nor the SNP splashing out £180bn of additional debt.

Only the Scottish Conservatives are committed to staying the economic course.

That’s your choice to make – elect a government with a record that is demonstrably right for the economy, for jobs, interest and mortgage rates and inflation, for growth, for lower taxes, for secure pensions, for a strong Scotland within a United Kingdom.