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Rumbles: SNP need “laser like focus” on improving services

Scottish Liberal Democrat business manager Mike Rumbles MSP has today warned that the SNP need a “laser-like focus” on improving services after a new survey showed falling public trust in the Scottish Government’s ability to work in the country’s best interests.

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Rennie: We must do all we can to protect our open, free and liberal society

Speaking at FMQ's today, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"For four years I would walk up Kennington Road and over Westminster Bridge. I’d look up to Big Ben then down the Thames. Dodging past the tourists taking pictures of this iconic scene recognised across the globe. I would descend the steps and into the Palace of Westminster nodding at the police officer who would nod in return. Morning, Mr Rennie. The personal touch.

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Rumbles: Digital ambition must be matched by funding

North East MSP Mike Rumbles has challenged the Scottish Government to live up to its promise and provide the funding needed to deliver 100% coverage of superfast broadband by 2021. 

The Scottish Government today renewed its commitment to deliver the ambitious target but figures show that funding levels fall far below the required amount to achieve it. 

The Digital Strategy for Scotland 2017 report, published today, highlights that investment from Broadband Development UK, the EU, local councils and the Scottish Government has reached £280 million so far. It is estimated, however, that at least £4 billion will be need to be found over the next four years to deliver on their pledge.   

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are also calling for transformative investment in digital education and skills to help spread the benefits of new technologies and bring a welcome boost to the Scottish economy. 

Mr Rumbles said: “The gall of the Scottish Government is astounding. Their ‘renewed’ promise is worth less than the cost of producing this report, if it is not backed by funding.

“There is nowhere near the levels of investment required to deliver their target in four years. That means that many homes and businesses, especially in the rural areas of Scotland, could be left high and dry. Many may be forced to wait decades for a good internet connection.    

“We want to see the Scottish Government deliver on this promise and make Scotland a digital success story but that can only be done if everyone is given the chance of skills and access, and the resources are made available. 

“The single biggest barrier to growth is often quoted as the lack of skills in new digital technology. The Scottish Government has a unique opportunity, over a very short timeframe, to make Scotland a world leader in telecommunications industries but pleasing words and big promises won’t get the job done.” 

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McArthur: Police morale victim of failed SNP policies

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today said police morale has been a “victim of a botched SNP centralisation” after a new survey revealed just one in ten officers and civilian staff believe the outlook for Police Scotland is good.

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Cole-Hamilton: Need to fix general practice following “systematic disinvestment”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today said much more needs to be done to turn around general practice after a senior consultant at NHS Tayside warned of the impact of years of “systematic disinvestment”.

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Response to Gordon Brown intervention

Speaking in response to the latest intervention by Gordon Brown on a federalist future for Scotland , Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Jeremy Purvis said:

“This latest intervention by Gordon Brown adds to the momentum that we are seeing for a federalist way forward. Scottish Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront on pressing the case for a reformed, federal, fair and prosperous UK where the aspirations of the people of Scotland can be met. We have been instrumental in every stage of Scotland’s constitutional journey from the Scottish Constitutional Convention to the 2015 Scotland Act.

“By rejecting the siren sounds of nationalism and independence we believe there is an optimistic and modern alternative. The SNP are wrong in their answer to Brexit. We should not be erecting a barrier that will put us out of both the EU single market and the UK single market. Our belief in the UK and the EU gives us a unique position in Scotland that no other party has.

“Scottish Labour are on a long slow walk to federalism. I hope this latest intervention will lead to more momentum.  For these future arrangements to enjoy support across the society and across the UK, there needs to be a Constitutional Convention – once again well-established Lib Dem policy. These deep-seated changes offers the best chance for our country to flourish.”

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Rennie: SNP playing low politics for narrow gain

Speaking in this afternoon's debate on whether there should be a second independence referendum, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: 

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Rumbles: Government set to bury bad news

Scottish Liberal Democrat business manager Mike Rumbles MSP today condemned the Scottish Government’s attempt to avoid parliamentary scrutiny after it was confirmed that four ministerial statements are set to take place on the afternoon of 30th March - the final business before MSPs go on their Easter break.

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Scot Lib Dems: Brexit inflation hurts the poorest

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today warned that the sharp rise in inflation is a direct result of Theresa May's pursuit of a hard Brexit. 

New data shows that UK inflation rose to 2.3% in February 2017.

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