Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Charles Kennedy today (Thursday 12th February) launched the front page of the General Election Manifesto.
It includes Scottish Liberal Democrat plans to build a stronger Scotland for everyone with real home rule. The front-page will set out six Liberal Democrat priorities that will build a stronger economy and a fairer society creating opportunity for everyone.
Our commitments are only possible because of our strategy to deliver a balanced budget; borrowing less than Labour, and cutting less than the Conservatives. And it is because we have delivered in this Government that we can offer a programme that is credible and deliverable for the next Government.
In 2010 the Liberal Democrat manifesto front page included commitments for fairer taxes, rebalancing the economy and political reform. All of which went on to be key policies of the Coalition.
The six priorities are:
Prosperity for all
Balance the budget fairly and invest to build a high skill, low carbon economy
Cut your taxes by an additional £400 by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500
Quality health care for all
Invest £8bn to improve our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health
Opportunity for every child
Guarantee education funding from nursery to college
Our environment protected
Protect nature and fight climate change with five Green Laws
A stronger Scotland for everyone
Transfer power from London to Scotland with home rule in the UK
Willie Rennie and Charles Kennedy launched the campaign on a visit to Fort William, in Mr Kennedy’s constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber.
Fort William is one of the areas affected badly by the SNP taking its eye off the ball to focus on its independence campaign. Willie Rennie and Charles Kennedy set out Liberal Democrat ambitions to create opportunity for everyone with lower taxes, more jobs, better healthcare and better education in a stronger Scotland.
Speaking in Fort William today, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:
"Today we are setting out six priorities for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that there is opportunity for everyone.
“Lower taxes. More jobs. Better healthcare. Better education. A fairer, greener, society, with opportunity for everyone, in a stronger Scotland.
“A stronger economy means finishing the job of balancing the books, but doing so fairly, with the wealthiest in our society paying their fair share.
“But a stronger economy means so much more than just clearing the deficit. We need a strong economy so that we have the finances to be able to improve our public services and build a fairer society.
“In Government, the Liberal Democrats have delivered on the front page of our previous General Election manifesto. Liberal Democrats have made the weather on more powers, whilst Scotland’s lowest paid are no longer paying Income Tax. We will build on this progress.
“I came to Fort William today to launch our priorities with Charles because as Scottish Liberal Democrats we want to see a politics for all of Scotland.
“Whether you live in our cities or our countryside, work in our hospitals or our oil rigs, bring up your family in the Highlands or the Borders, voted Yes or No, I know we all want to see a stronger Scotland.
“We will deliver real home rule to Scotland through the Smith Agreement. But more than that, we will build a stronger economy and a fairer society by ensuring decent local services.
“For too long, our local hospitals have been in crisis mode. In due course, I will set out the full scale of this crisis and how we plan to ensure better opportunities for patients to get on in life.
“But today I am making clear that Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to not only protecting our health budget – we will increase it too.
“This will ensure decent public services, with improved mental health and local services a top priority in our efforts to build a fairer society.”