Humza Yousaf has one last chance to break with his "discredited predecessor" when he makes a keynote speech in Holyrood next week, Douglas Ross has claimed.

The Scottish Tory leader said Mr Yousaf must ditch the “Sturgeon mould” when he delivers his first Programme for Government as First Minister.

He also urged Mr Yousaf to adopt a new Tory blueprint to boost the Scottish economy, including closer working with the UK Government.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross offers to work with SNP rebels against Green ministers

The plans call for a “regulation handbrake” which would halt changes for businesses during economic stagnation, and lighter taxes on businesses and individuals.

Other ideas include long-Covid clinics, a smaller devolved government, more private sector involvement in public service delivery, more tax powers for councils, and a greater alignment between all levels of education and the skills needed by employers.

The SNP and Green partners in the Scottish Government mocked Mr Ross’s speech in Edinburgh, and said he had no credibility after Tory economic chaos at Westminster.

Looking ahead to the annual legislative programme, Mr Ross said it had to start addressing Scotland’s “unsustainable” public finances.

The Scottish Fiscal Commission, the independent overseer of Holyrood’s budget, recently warned of “significant challenges” being stored up by spending exceeding tax revenues.

It warned of a £10billion annual shortfall over the next 50 years.

Mr Ross said: “Next week, MSPs will return from the summer recess and hear the SNP-Green Government’s programme for government. 

“It will be the first time that Humza Yousaf has presented one. But it will be the last chance for the First Minister to step out of the shadow of his discredited predecessor and show Scotland that he is his own man. 

“None of us can afford for things to go on as they are. We need solutions to the big challenges that Scotland is facing. 

“So, we cannot have yet another programme for government in the Sturgeon mould.  

“Tinkering around the edges for its own sake  

“And focusing on divisive niche issues that will not improve the lives of working families. 

“Instead, we need to see real action.”

The Highland & Islands MSP went on: “I am sick and tired of the SNP whining that they do not have the financial levers at their disposal to make a difference. Humza Yousaf has a £60 billion budget. He has total control over our devolved public services. 

“It’s time the SNP did more with these powers than manage decline and use taxpayer’s money to campaign for independence.  

“Scotland deserves a government that is focused on the real priorities of the Scottish people. 

“And the test for Humza Yousaf next week is to show that he is capable of rising to those challenges. 

“Ditch the nationalist independence campaign. And lead a national government for all of Scotland. Abandon the constitutional fights with the UK Government.  And work with the rest of our country. Focus on the big challenges we all face. Not on the narrow political interests of a few. 

“That is the leadership that Scotland needs in these difficult times -  and this is the last chance for Humza Yousaf to show that he is capable of delivering it.” 

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SNP MP Stewart Hosie, his party’s economy spokesman at Westminster, said voters did not trust the Tories after the “economic carnage” unleashed by Liz Truss’s government.

He added: “What Mr Ross ironically failed to mention was the biggest reason for economic decline in the UK: Brexit. It’s frankly laughable.

“While both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer continue to bury their head in the sand, only the SNP are willing to call out Brexit for what it is: economic vandalism.”

Green MSP Ross Greer said Mr Ross was the last thing the Scottish economy needed, and his plans would take vital funds away from schools and hospitals.

He said: “This isn’t an economic vision for Scotland, it's a shambolic tribute act to Liz Truss and her disastrous few weeks in office. The last thing Scotland’s public services and economy need is more incompetent Conservative policymaking.

“We know what Tory economics looks like. Selling off public services to the highest bidder, cutting those that are left to the bone and handing out tax breaks to their wealthy friends. It’s the same recipe for chaos that has inflicted so much damage over the last 40 years.

“Douglas Ross has a shocking economic record. He backed Boris Johnson and his disastrous Brexit and then Liz Truss and her catastrophic economic experiments. 

“He must take his share of responsibility for the soaring costs of food, energy and mortgages caused by their policies.”