FINANCE Secretary Derek Mackay has been accused of "reheating" a flagship policy pledge unveiled during the SNP's conference. 

Mr Mackay announced financial health checks for older people and those on low incomes will be brought in from next month. 

He said the £3.3 million two-year scheme would help an additional 15,000 people, adding: "It will cover things like access to free school meals, school clothing grants, benefit uptake, and cheaper deals on energy and other utilities to reduce household costs."

But opponents accused him of indulging in "shameless soundbites and reheated announcements". 

Scottish Labour's finance spokesman James Kelly said: "Labour welcomes the idea of financial health checks for older people and low income families.

"We welcomed it in the 2017 Programme for Government, the 2018 programme for government and when Nicola Sturgeon announced it in 2016 as well."

Scottish Tory shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart said: "It's entirely in keeping with this tired SNP government that the only big things in this speech were a re-announced plan for financial health checks, and yet more commissions and action plans.

"After 11 years in government, it shows that the SNP has very little left in the tank."

Nicola Sturgeon first announced the policy at the 2016 SNP conference and also included it in her recent programme for government – the legislative blueprint for the coming year.

Mr Mackay also pledged to launch an economic action plan by the end of October and announced a £730,000 grant for Clyde Gateway, a massive regeneration project in the east end of Glasgow and Rutherglen.

He said this will go towards a new £2 million headquarters for the STUC.

Meanwhile, he wrote to Chancellor Philip Hammond to outline key issues for Scotland ahead of the UK Budget on October 29 – including concerns over Brexit and welfare reform.