More cash for treatment must accompany efforts to destigmatise mental health

Responding to the Scottish Government announcing £1m per year to eliminate the stigma around mental health, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

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Cole-Hamilton calls for Scottish Human Rights Commission inquiry into Covid ID cards

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today written to the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to ask them to begin a statutory inquiry into whether the Scottish Government are in breach of equality laws over the implementation of its Covid ID card scheme, scheduled to come into force on 1st October.

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On World Tourism Day, the Scottish Government must step up

On World Tourism Day (Monday 27th September), Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has expressed his concerns over the continuous disruption faced by the tourism sector over the past 18 months, and warned that Scotland's reputation as a holiday destination would suffer unless the Scottish Government steps up.

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Cole-Hamilton: Government’s Covid ID scheme is a dog’s breakfast

Responding to UK Hospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson’s comments on Good Morning Scotland, in which he noted 

"We are seven days from this coming in, we haven't seen the regulations that the government are still drafting, we haven't seen any guidance from the Scottish Government and the government hasn't produced any business impact assessment or indeed a quality impact assessment either, so we are really still very much in the dark",

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“The hospitality industry thinks this scheme is a dog’s breakfast. They are being expected to get hold of new equipment in a week, without even getting clear guidance of what is expected of them. 

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Ministers could drive businesses to the wall with “never-ending” Covid ID requirements

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today warned that unless the Scottish Government ditch their controversial Covid ID scheme they risk discriminating against young, poor and ethnic minority Scots and driving night time businesses to the wall. You can find our campaign to stop Covid ID cards here.

Today the Scottish Government published more information about their Vaccine Certification proposals including confirmation that the scheme will apply from Friday 1 October (from 5 am) “until further notice”, and Ministers will hold the power to extend the regulations on a three-weekly basis. However, there is still no sign of the relevant regulations or impact assessments, and additional staffing or infrastructure costs will be met by businesses. 

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Wishart: SNP/Green Government must ditch support for Heathrow

Responding to this afternoon's statement on Decarbonising Scotland's Transport , Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

“The transport minister said twice that demand for aviation must fall if transport is to do its part in meeting Scotland’s climate targets But that is incompatible with this Government's actions and their contract with Heathrow.

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Cole-Hamilton declares his support for Assisted Dying bill

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today backed Liam McArthur MSP’s Assisted Dying Bill. 

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“I am proud of my colleague Liam McArthur who launches the consultation on his Bill to introduce Assisted Dying today.  

I want the choice, if I’m in agony and beyond the reach of palliative care, to say ‘this far and no further.’  

“Everyone should have the right to a good death.” 

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New mental health report must prompt changes to staff training

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today said that a new report from the Mental Welfare Commission which found differences in the ways the Mental Health Act is applied when people from ethnic minorities are detained for mental health care and treatment compared to white Scottish people, particularly between black women and white Scottish women, must prompt a new emphasis on training for staff and support for patients.

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Cole-Hamilton responds to life-expectancy fall

Commenting on the news that life expectancy fell in 2018 – 2020, reversing the trend of recent years, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton demanded that the SNP must “get a grip on the things that really matter”.

Life expectancy in Scotland has increased since the early 1980s but then remained virtually unchanged between 2012-2014 and 2017-2019. In the most recent year it has now dropped below the 2012-2014 figure.

The report published by the National Records for Scotland shows that COVID-19 and drug related deaths both had negative effects on the overall rate.

The deprivation gap has become wider over the past few years growing by 1.3 years for males and 1.6 years for females since 2013-2015. Scotland continues to have the lowest life expectancy of all UK countries and in western Europe.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

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Cole-Hamilton: Lord Advocate's empty answer is not enough

Speaking after he responded to the Lord Advocate’s statement on diversion from prosecution, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Scottish Liberal Democrat requested this statement back in June, and I was grateful to see her here today, despite the empty answer.

“The government has insisted for years that diversion has been an important response, but we’ve just discovered today that it only happened 57 times in 2017/18. 

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