HUMZA Yousaf's "first priority" must be tackling the cost-of-living crisis - not pursuing indyref2, according to a top trade unionist. 

Roz Foyer, the general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, said Scottish independence was not her organisation's "number one priority" as she called on the First Minister to do more to help "ordinary working people".

Speaking after a keynote speech from Yousaf at the STUC’s annual conference in Dundee on Monday, Foyer urged the Scottish Government to focus on improving “the economic situation” facing workers amid plummeting standards of living.

And she told ministers in Edinburgh there was “much they can do” which had not yet been attempted to improve people’s quality of life within the confines of devolution.

READ MORE: Union chief in 'wellbeing economy catchphrase' warning to Scottish Government

Foyer told The National: “I would hope that the First Minister’s immediate priorities will be to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make sure that ordinary working people can live sustainable lives. We’ve had the worst drop in living standards since records began and that’s why you’ve seen workers take action on pay over the past year.

“I want to see really high priority given to workers’ pay, to their lives being sustainable, there are lots of levers the Scottish Government can pull to do that, they control transport, they control our public services, they control a whole range of tax powers so there is much they can do to improve the economic situation for ordinary people that haven’t yet been done.

“How they choose to seek to secure a mandate for independence I think is a matter for the First Minister and the Scottish Government.

“Independence is not the number one priority of the STUC, securing a Scottish Government that’s prepared to show they’re on the side of ordinary working people and tackle the cost-of living crisis is our number one priority.”

It comes after Yousaf led an SNP leafletting session in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire on Sunday, telling Yessers he would “push forward our levels of activism to the highs of 2014”.

Foyer also reiterated her belief that it should be up to the Scottish Parliament whether to hold a referendum.

She added: “The Scottish Parliament returned a majority of representatives who support a referendum and we believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to make that decision.

“Now unfortunately, the UK Government doesn’t look like it’s going to concede that power to the Scottish Parliament any time soon but we feel that would be the right approach.”