ALEX Salmond’s Alba Party will today launch their Council Elections Manifesto at the Caird Hall in Dundee.

The Alba Party will set out plans to tackle the cost of living crisis, including the doubling of this year’s winter fuel payment for pensioners and a raft of other proposals to protect and enhance household budgets from soaring energy bills rises.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond to highlight Scotland's energy resources at Alba campaign launch

Salmond’s party will put independence at the forefront of their manifesto and believe the surge in electricity and fuel bills demonstrate why independence for energy-rich Scotland is an urgent priority.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Salmond said: “On May 5, Scotland goes to the polls to elect the women and men who will run the local services we all rely on. Alba is standing well over 100 candidates, from all walks of life and in all parts of Scotland.

“Scotland stands at a pivotal moment. Council budgets are facing challenges, as never before, while one in four children live in poverty.

“Household incomes are under unprecedented financial pressure, as families face a cost of living crisis which is squeezing household budgets to breaking point. One-third of families are facing fuel poverty in our land of energy plenty.

“The sex-based rights of women and girls are under-concerted and increasing attack.

"Our manifesto will set out Alba’s specific pledges on how we can make life better for all households. However, the focus reflects three key themes: taking real action on independence as an urgent necessity; tackling the cost of living crisis; and standing up for women and girls.

“Seven separate national elections have come and gone since the referendum of 2014, including two mandates at Holyrood and three Westminster elections, with a clear independence majority. But little or no action has been taken to move the dial on independence.

“We have the opportunity at this election to finally take our own future into our own hands through an Independence Convention to co-ordinate a renewed independence drive. It is an opportunity Alba are urging Scotland to take.”