AN East Renfrewshire politician has vowed to end council tax payments for apprentices.

Jackson Carlaw, MSP for Eastwood, said he is looking to encourage more young people to take up a vocation in favour of going into higher or further education.

Students can receive up to a 100 per cent discount on council tax, while apprentices only receive a 50 per cent reduction.

Mr Carlaw, who is the front-runner in the contest with South Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne to be leader of the Scottish Conservatives, told a hustings that his party would do everything it could to "support those who choose this worthy route to a career."

He said: "Surely it is unacceptable that apprentices don't receive equal treatment when it comes to their council tax?

"Our party values the vital role that apprenticeships play in ensuring that Scotland has the skills it needs and will do everything we can to support those who choose this worthy route to a career.

"Scottish Conservatives believe that effort, hard work and entrepreneurialism are to be encouraged and this policy is that belief in action."

The current interim leader, who took the reins from Ruth Davidson when she was on maternity leave and then again when she stood down in August, has the support of a majority of Tory MSPs in Holyrood and all of the party's Scottish council leaders.

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