Ahead of the first party leaders’ debate of the campaign, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a visit to Edinburgh to unveil the party’s Commitment Card which states that every candidate elected will put the recovery from the pandemic first.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat social security spokesperson and North East lead candidate Rosemary Bruce said:
"After almost a decade and a half of SNP rule, child poverty remains a stubborn stain on Scotland.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats recognise that poverty and hunger can be major factors in preventing children from achieving their potential. That's why we are committed to doubling the Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty.Read more
Responding to Nicola Sturgeon's speech to the SNP campaign conference, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:
“Nicola Sturgeon has had some well documented failures of memory recently but even she must remember the way in which the last independence referendum completely occupied the bandwidth of the Scottish government in the run up to 2014.
"Every single civil servant who is working on an independence bill is one who could be working on the recovery from the pandemic so for the First Minister to claim that "Independence is not a distraction" is clearly baloney.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a visit to Dunfermline to make the case for raising the starting age for formal schooling to 7, transforming how children learn in what is currently P1 and P2.
The longer early years phase will still be mandatory but it will focus on child development, social skills, outdoor learning, and physical and mental health.
In advance of this, the party would also immediately abolish the SNP's controversial national testing of five-year-olds which runs contrary to a play-based education and has been heavily criticised by teachers and independent education experts.
Willie Rennie said:Read more
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned new research showing a "postcode lottery" of spending on mental health services is a "scandal" and called for a transformative investment in mental health.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatry, new figures show that the level of spending per head of population for those aged 0-17 changes drastically based on their location.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Scottish liberal democrat health spokesperson, said:
“It is heartbreaking to think how many vulnerable children are subjected to harrowing long waits for help. It is an utter scandal.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today announced plans to extend Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) as part of the party's Education Bounce Back plan and to tackle the attainment gap.
The party won the argument early in the last Parliament to create the PEF system, winning over the SNP which had branded Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals for its introduction as "dangerous" and "ridiculous" in 2016. This month the party also secured an extra £20 million (16%) for PEF through its deal on the Scottish budget.
Now Willie Rennie proposes to:
- Make PEF a permanent feature of Scottish education;
- Provide multi-year PEF agreements so that schools can make long-term plans and investments for children.
Responding to Neale Hanvey's defection to the Alba party, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:
"Like paint chipping off an old and decaying wall, Neale Hanvey's defection is the latest episode in the nationalist's bitter, twisted and divided civil war.
"People can reject the old arguments by backing Willie Rennie’s Liberal Democrats. We will put recovery first and focus on jobs, mental health, our NHS, schools and the climate crisis.
Responding to Kenny Macaskill's defection to the Alba party, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:
"Kenny Macaskill wants to go from being the SNP MP for East Lothian, to the Alba party MSP for Lothians. I will be interested to see how he pursues this role from his home in Banffshire.Read more
Responding to comments from Douglas Ross this morning, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:
“Lib Dems will work with others to deliver a constructive and ambitious plan for recovery but Douglas Ross’s politics are far too dark and divisive.
“We will focus on winning seats and ensuring that the next government is focused on putting the recovery first, not independence.
“As a football referee Douglas Ross has a knack for uniting the fans of opposing teams. As a party leader he seems to do the exact opposite.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today used a visit to Muddy Boots farm in Fife to announce a new outdoor experience guarantee for pupils that will see "every outdoor activity centre full year round" as part of the party's Education Bounce Back plan.
Under Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals every pupil would be guaranteed a week at a residential outdoor learning centre during each phase of schooling.
Educational experts have hailed the benefits of outdoor learning, with a study from Yale University highlighting that “outdoor education experiences provide a change of pace and place, which can increase students’ enthusiasm and motivation to learn”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented:Read more