Cole-Hamilton proposes new scheme to let everyone trial electric vehicles

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton will today use his speech to the federal Liberal Democrat conference to set out a series of eye-catching proposals to tackle the climate emergency and boost sustainable transport. 

In his speech Mr Cole-Hamilton will call for all new public sector vehicles to be electric, longer government-backed interest free loans to enable people to buy electric vehicles and a Transport Scotland scheme to enable everyone to try out an electric car for a weekend funded by the government. 

Alex will say: 

“Scotland’s new nationalist coalition is about one thing, and it’s not the environment. Its central mission is a constitutional one, threatening to utterly consume the precious little time left before our planet is irreparably damaged. 

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Cole-Hamilton urges swift military deployment after woman endures 15 hour and 8 hour waits for ambulances

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton today pressed for the military to be deployed after he challenged the First Minister on the experience of Catherine Whyte who waited 15 hours last month for an ambulance, only to fall last week and endure a further 8 hour wait despite serious injury.

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Cross party mental health group to hold Covid inquiry

Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat, Beatrice Wishart has chaired the first meeting of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Mental Health where it was agreed to hold an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health.

Ms Wishart is a co-convener of the group which is made up of stakeholders and politicians across a range of political persuasions represented in Holyrood. She shares the convenorship with MSPs Oliver Mundell (Conservative) and Emma Harper (SNP).

Ms Wishart was a member of the CPG on mental health in the previous session of the Scottish Parliament. During the Scottish Parliament election Ms Wishart called for urgent action to prevent a ‘mental health tidal wave prompted by the pandemic’. Scottish Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for parity of care for mental health with physical health. 

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Universal credit cut shows PM is out of touch

Commenting on the Government cut to Universal Credit ahead of this afternoon's debate in Parliament, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions Wendy Chamberlain said: 

“The decision to rip support from millions of families across the country shows how completely out of touch the Prime Minister really is. 

“He claims that he wants people to live by their own efforts rather than welfare. So either he doesn’t know that almost half of those receiving Universal Credit are already in work or he doesn’t care.

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Health Secretary is reckless to warn Scots away from A&E

Responding to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf urging Scots to think twice before calling 999 for an ambulance, and warning that the NHS is facing an "extraordinarily difficult winter", Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Humza Yousaf is proving a reckless Health Secretary. Encouraging people not to seek treatment is a huge gamble.

“Winter pressures come around every year. It is the job of health Secretary to ensure that the NHS has the resources it needs to cope with demand.

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Scot Lib Dems call for accountability over Covid spending

Scottish Liberal Democrat finance spokesperson John Ferry has today called for proper safeguards to be put in place to ensure that the Government correctly identify what is and isn’t Covid-spending, as a new briefing 'Tracking the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland's public finances' published by Audit Scotland warned that “transparency around what is classed as Covid-19 spending across government portfolios remains challenging in a fast-moving and unpredictable environment”

Mr Ferry said:

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No Scottish shipyard on shortlist for Islay ferries

Responding to reports that new CalMac Islay ferries will not be built in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie said:

"It is a damning indictment of the Scottish Government's utter failure to secure high tech, high wage jobs that there is no shipyard in Scotland on this shortlist.

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Scot Lib Dems will oppose cynical social care power grab

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today used a debate on the future of social care to confirm that his party will oppose a “cynical power grab” on the part of the Scottish Government and stand up for local authorities and local communities against centralising SNP ministers.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“It is cynical for this government to brand their proposal a National Care Service because it is, in fact a ministerial takeover of social care. It's a branding exercise deliberately designed to make it sound like our most treasured national institution, the National Health Service but that is where the similarity ends.

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First Minister running out of experts to misrepresent over vaccine passports

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today pressed the First Minister over calls from experts and events industry leaders to shelve plans for Covid ID cards - experts who the First Minister had previously quoted.

Mr Cole-Hamilton raised the concerns of events industry leader Geoff Ellis, who in a conversation today told Mr Cole-Hamilton:  

“The policy of passporting creates many problems for the Scottish economy. Who is excluded? How is it to be regulated? Where is the app? Does it work? Surely we cannot rely on stewards using their personal smart phones to check validity?"  

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Cole-Hamilton writes to parliament bosses over right to protest at heart of Scottish democracy

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today written to members of the Corporate Body of the Scottish Parliament over plans to restrict the right to protest outside the parliament and expand police powers to remove demonstrators.

From 1 October 2021 The Scottish Parliament will be added to the sites covered by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 in Scotland (SOCPA). The only other sites to which this currently apploes in Scotland are those related to nuclear materials. The maximum penalty for breaching the legislation is a £5,000 fine or a year in jail.

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