Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie MSP, has today set out the priorities for the Scottish Liberal Democrat “manifesto of opportunity”.
On a visit to South Queensferry in Edinburgh West with Liberal Democrat Business Minister Jo Swinson and Liberal Democrat Edinburgh West candidate Mike Crockart, Mr Rennie set out key Scottish Liberal Democrat commitment to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.
The front page of the manifesto set out commitments including:
· An ambition to extend free childcare to all two year olds by 2020
· Plans to transfer power from London to Edinburgh, as set out in the Smith Agreement, but going further with plans to push power down into local communities
· A pathway to fight climate change with five green laws
· Give Scotland’s NHS an £800m boost with mental health a priority for improvements
Speaking at the launch today, Mr Rennie said:
“Our plan is for a stronger economy, a fairer society and opportunity for everyone.
“We want to create a decade of opportunity.
“We believe in it, we are sticking to it and, in government, we will deliver on it.
“Over the course of this campaign, we have seen our opponents producing irresponsible plans for increased debt, vast spending commitments on the hoof, and cynical tactics that put the very future of our country at risk.
“But the Scottish Liberal Democrats are sticking to our guns and passing the Kipling test:
“To "keep your head when all about you are losing theirs".
“Over the past five years Liberal Democrats, in government, have steered a careful course.
“Our country faced extraordinary threats.
“An economy on the brink of collapse.
“Public services whose funding was at risk.
“And a referendum on the break up of our UK family.
“Liberal Democrats in government have got us through.
“The fastest growth in the G7.
“Funding protected for our schools and hospitals.
“A decisive decision by people in Scotland to stick together.
“Without Liberal Democrats this would not have been possible.
“We have come so far, we have made so much progress, now is not the time for our country to throw away what we have all worked so hard to achieve.
“Shooting off to the right with harsh cuts to public services.
“Shooting off to the left with vast sums of new debt for the next generation to pay.
“Shooting ourselves in the foot with short-term tactics that put the long-term future of our Union in doubt – putting party before country.
“Now is the time for that steady liberal hand to steer forward once again.
“To take the careful, responsible, liberal way ahead.
“The Scottish manifesto that we are launching today is the route map for that journey.
“Look at the promises on the front cover.
“A stronger economy based on prosperity for all.
“With a budget balanced fairly and investment in a high-skill, low-carbon future.
“A fairer society with £400 back in your pocket by raising the income tax personal allowance, five green laws to protect nature and fight climate change, and £800 million of new funding that the Scottish Liberal Democrats would guarantee for investment in our NHS and improvement in our mental health services.
“Opportunity for everyone with guaranteed education funding from nursery to college and a stronger Scottish Parliament with new powers over tax and welfare and a Home Rule deal for the twenty first century.
“So there you have it. We want to make the second decade of this century a decade of opportunity.
”A stronger economy. A fairer society. Opportunity for everyone.
“It is serious, steady and costed approach to government.
“Every Scottish Liberal Democrat MP elected on 8th May will work tirelessly, day after day, to put it into practice.
“We stand with this plan, so that our country can move forward. “