A bright, green liberal programme for Scotland

The last five years in the Scottish Parliament have been dominated by independence. The next five years should be dominated by a bright, green and liberal programme for Scotland.

With Scotland returning to work today it should signal a change of focus for our parliament: it's time to get on with the day job.

This morning I met management and staff at a manufacturing business in Fife. They are a local firm that employ around 50 workers and have customers right across the UK. At the moment, they are working hard to help re-fit a major store in Carlisle that have been affected by the terrible flooding. It’s a firm that is in constant need of good, skilled workers.

Liberal Democrats want everyone to have the opportunity to gain new skills and get on in life. We need to give every Scot a fair chance to get on. Getting there will take hard work. But it is vital. That is what this year’s Scottish Parliament election needs to be about.

Children and young people deserve a good quality education with nursery education and a pupil premium to give every child a chance of a good job. Yet under the SNP, Scotland's once proud education system has slipped in the world standing.

People deserve a good quality health service with better mental health services and more GPs. Yet under the SNP there's long waits to see a GP or get mental health treatment they need.

The planet must be protected, with action on climate change including warmer homes and better public transport. Yet under the SNP Scotland has missed our own climate change targets.

Our traditional Scottish freedoms must be protected including power transferred to local communities and trusting police, nurses, doctors and teachers to do their job. Yet under the SNP we've seen armed police, excessive stop and search, power stripped from local communities and hoarded in Edinburgh.

Liberal Democrats will approach this election with a clear, positive plan to put the divisions of the referendum behind us, reform our public sector to improve services and make the next 5 years about delivering on the things that really matter for people across Scotland.

We need more strong liberal voices in parliament to advance a bright, green and liberal parliament.

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