Rumbles secures commitment from Gove over Scotland's share of agricultural payments

Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today secured commitments from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove that the share of British agricultural payments that will be paid to Scottish farmers after the UK leaves the EU will be retained.

The Cabinet Secretary confirmed publicly for the first time that Scotland would retain at least its existing share. Scotland currently receives 17% of the total UK CAP budget.

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Scot Lib Dems call for Brexit halt to tackle economy

Commenting on today's economic figures, which show Scottish growth of just 0.2% and UK growth of 0.1%, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson councillor Carolyn Caddick said:

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Cole-Hamilton: Scot Gov must deliver comprehensive suicide prevention plan

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today attacked the "negligent" Scottish Government as new figures revealed that almost 700 people died by suicide in 2017, during the entirety of which there was no suicide prevention strategy in place.

New figures released by ISD Scotland show that there were 680 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2017. The Scottish Government's suicide prevention strategy expired in December 2016 - 543 days ago.

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First item of business for new Health Sec - reinstate funding for HIV Scotland

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today led a cross party group of MSPs in writing to the First Minister and new Health Secretary to ask that they reinstate funding for HIV Scotland.

The call comes after it was revealed that the Scottish Government could be about to strip the organisation of most of its core funding, a decision that HIV Scotland said left the organisation “critically short staffed” and with key programs “at risk”.

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Cole-Hamilton: “Heartbreaking” NHS Lothian staff face bullying & harassment

Responding to the news that a culture of bullying and harassment has been uncovered at NHS Lothian, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Our hard working NHS staff are up against it all the time trying to deliver first rate care against a backdrop of diminished pay, workforce planning failings and problems with social care, which stop patients leaving hospital on time.

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Scott: SNP education bill vanishing

Responding to a Scottish Government statement shelving their long delayed education bill but committing to make changes without legislation, education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP said:

"Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly said education is her number one priority but she couldn't even be bothered to turn up to see her legislative centrepiece vanish like lines off a classroom smartboard.

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Rennie: People demanding change for education and NHS

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said people are right to demand change in education and the NHS after the official Social Attitudes Survey recorded increasing dissatisfaction with the SNP Government's performance in these areas.

For the first time, the most commonly chosen priority for Scottish Government action was to improve standards of education.

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Worst cancer waiting time statistics ever

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has said that current cancer waits are an insult to patients and called for new leadership as figures released today revealed that performance against the 62-day waiting time target is at its worst ever level.

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Rumbles: SNP Heathrow policy is "unmitigated embarrassment"

Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today said that the SNP's policy towards the expansion of Heathrow is an unmitigated embarrassment as he pressed the government over a memorandum of understanding signed by former Economy Secretary Keith Brown in October 2016.

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3% annual pay rise not enough to attract more NHS staff

Commenting on the 9% pay rise for NHS Scotland staff over the next 3 years, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“NHS staff are under-valued and overworked. This pay rise is a welcome step to recognise the admirable work our health professionals do with very limited resources, but it will not make up for the pay stagnation and erosion that has happened over the last 10 years the SNP have been in power.

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