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Ruth Davidson MSP: ' Scottish Conservatives will pledge an extra 1,000 nurses and midwives for Scotland'

Scottish Conservative party leader Ruth Davidson has pledged to scrap free prescriptions if they get into power in Holyrood.

She told the party conference in Edinburgh that the money would go towards funding 1,000 extra nurses and midwives in the NHS.

Ruth Davidson MSP addresses Scottish Conservative party conference Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

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Scottish Conservative party leader pledges 1,000 nurses and midwives if they gain power

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has pledged to scrap free prescriptions in order to fund 1,000 extra nurses and midwives in the NHS if her party gains power at Holyrood.

The additional staff would be recruited using money saved from ending universal free prescriptions, which were introduced by the SNP government almost three years ago.

"Under the SNP, the number of nurses and midwives in Scotland has gone up and down like a fiddler's elbow. Two thousand posts gone over two years.

"Right now - hundreds of places down, creating an intolerable pressure on those who are left.

"It's time we did something about it. That's why today I am able to announce the Scottish Conservatives will pledge an extra 1,000 nurses and midwives for Scotland. And, once introduced, we will not let numbers drop below that mark."

– Ruth Davidson MSP, Scottish Conservative leader

Railway boost for Dumfries and Galloway possible

ITV's Pam Royle speaks to Councillor Colin Smith from Dumfries and Galloway council about proposals for new railway stations in the region

The council decided today it would put in a bid to get a slice of a £30million pot from the Scottish Government, which has been set aside to redevelop railways throughout the country.

If successful, Stranraer would be refurbished and new stations would be built at Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit-Glenluce and Beattock. The council says they would be built in that order - based on the greatest need - as passenger numbers continue to grow in Southern Scotland.

Mixed messages about Cumbrian economy

There has been mixed reports on the state of the Cumbrian economy.

Businesses say they believe the county is on the road to recovery.

Many firms are reporting that they're more optimistic than at any time since the recession began.

But that optimism seems to be at odds with the experience of many workers, who still say they are facing tough times and seeing little sign of improvement.

Those in the public sector seem to be hardest hit.

The union, UNISON, says across the North West of England 40,000 jobs have gone since 2012.

They say that's seven per cent of public sector jobs.

So is the economy turning a corner or is there more hardship ahead?

Tim Backshall has this special report:

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Cumbria's economy 'on road to recovery' say businesses

Businesses in Cumbria say they believe the county's economy is on the road to recovery, while some MPs and individuals think there's still a long way to go.

Many firms are reporting that they're more optimistic than at any time since the recession began with some now beginning to take on extra staff.

David Durnford is the Managing Director of Motive Technology:

Full Report: The Scottish Governement's reaction to the Autumn Statement

The coalition Government in Westminster says the Autumn Statement hands Scotland an extra £308 million in the next two years. But the Nationalist Scottish Government says that doesn't make up for £3.1 billion of previous cuts.

SNP ministers are under opposition pressure to spend the extra cash on their flagship policy of extra childcare.

Our Political Editor Peter MacMahon got this reaction at Holyrood today:

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