Speaking in this afternoon's debate on rates relief for the newspaper industry, Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“The pandemic made it absolutely necessary for people to remain informed. Local news outlets have successfully done that as well as provided a much-needed link among communities, at a time when thousands of us have never felt so isolated and alone.
“The press proved to be invaluable in this “new normal”. For example the Edinburgh Evening News Coronavirus tab allows people to have a quick and easy access to all the latest news on the virus, such as how to access vaccines, locally and nationally, and even information on the different types of vaccine.
“A healthy press is a direct reflection of a healthy democracy. By refusing to extend the business rates relief the Scottish Government is at severe risk of hindering the ability of Scotland’s press sector to do its job.
“The pandemic has taken so much from society already; we cannot allow it to threaten one of the very tenets of our national democracy and our local communities. I therefore gladly support today's motion on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.”