Rennie sets out plan to end homelessness

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a visit to Colinton to set out his party’s plans to end homelessness. 

Mr Rennie highlighted the party’s plans as part of a package designed to win over SNP voters disappointed with the government’s record on domestic politics. 

The Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto commits to: 

  • Take forward the Housing First and Rapid Rehousing principles to end rough sleeping and homelessness, by providing both housing and other support services to individuals in need. 
  • address the additional challenges for young homeless people with special pathways to link suitable jobs and training to housing. 
  • Bring forward new legislation which would strengthen the duties on public bodies to prevent homelessness. 
  • Build 60,000 affordable homes to help address homelessness, including 40,000 for social rent 
  • Offer help to Renovate loans to bring derelict homes back into use. 

Scottish Liberal Democrats have campaigned for an increase in the number of homes constructed for social rent and to re-establish social renting as a valid long-term option for people.   

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie said: 

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Rennie sets out details of new fund to deliver 2,000 graduate internships

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a Scottish Chamber of Commerce roundtable to set out his party’s plans for 2,000 paid graduate internships with small businesses. 

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Care home families deserved better than spin and duplicity

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said that the families of people who died in Scottish care homes deserve better than months of spin and duplicity after Public Health Scotland today published a revised version of a previous report into the link between hospital discharges and care home covid outbreaks.

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Rennie appeals to disillusioned SNP voters with plan to overhaul SQA

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today reached out to disillusioned SNP voters with his policy to put teachers at the heart of the SQA and protect against repeats of the SNP's exams chaos and John Swinney's "loathed" exams algorithm.

The party won a vote at Parliament in February to overhaul the "not fit for purpose" SQA and Education Scotland. However, today it warned the SNP will take the first opportunity to put that result "in the shredder".

It comes amid concerns that the cancelled exams this year have been replaced by exams by another name, adding to the workloads of both pupils and teachers.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto sets out plans to bring major change and make sure people with recent teaching experience have more say and can set the direction of the organisations.

Willie Rennie commented:

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Sturgeon gives up on education and picks a new "top priority"

Responding to Nicola Sturgeon telling the STUC a national care service will be her "top priority" in the next session of the Scottish Parliament, Alistair Carmichael MP said: 

"It looks like it's game over for education. That was the top priority for five years and every objective was missed.

"People who use care services and care workers deserve better than a part time government that would much rather spend their time arguing about independence than improving social care services. 

“The SNP restarted their second referendum campaign in September at the start of the second wave. If they cared about social care they would not have done that. 

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Cole-Hamilton comments as covid restrictions eased

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today responded to the First Minister's announcement that Scotland will move to level 3 restrictions from next week.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“After the year we’ve endured, it's nice to see glimpses of normality returning. People have made huge sacrifices 

“My heart hurts for all the families who lost loved ones.  My gratitude goes to our brave NHS workers who did wonders throughout this pandemic, despite the lack of preparation from the SNP government. That’s why we cannot let our guard down, we can and should enjoy our coffee and meal with our friend outside, but we must remain careful.

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European Super League: Broadcasters should commit to TV ban

Jamie Stone MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is calling on broadcasters BBC, Sky and Amazon to reject the European Super League proposals by committing to not televising its games. 

BT Sport and DAZN have publicly denounced the proposals and distanced themselves from broadcasting Super League matches. The Liberal Democrat MP has now written to BBC, Sky and Amazon urging them to do the same. 

In letters sent to the Head of Sport at Sky, Amazon, and the BBC, Mr Stone emphasised the importance of football to local communities and the duty of broadcasters to protect “the very essence of football". Jamie adds “The proposals of a European Super League threaten the very essence of football.” he asks that the broadcasters commit to “never broadcast any games should the league come to fruition.” 

Following comments from the Secretary of State for Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, that the Conservative Government will launch its fan led review, Mr Stone has called on the Minister to meet with broadcasters and to devise a joint strategy to halt the realisation of a European Super League. 

After writing to the UK's major sports broadcasters, Jamie Stone said: 

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Rennie outlines a new deal for adult social care

Today Scottish Liberal Democrats are once again are reaching out to people who backed Ruth Davidson at the last election. Leader Willie Rennie used a campaign stop in Edinburgh to set out a new deal for adult social care.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto proposes to:

  • Prioritise the establishment of national pay bargaining and commit to funding the outcomes so that care workers get fair pay and better career progression as soon as possible.
  • Respect the social care workforce for the work they do, and make it a requirement that any care service by any provider must comply with fair work requirements which are set nationally.
  • Support the establishment of national care service standards, with the funding put in place to meet those standards, and effective complaint resolution for those people for whom services fall short.
  • Involve disabled people and other care users in national standards and local commissioning, and be informed by local experience of unmet needs.
  • Scrap charges for care services delivered at home, helping people to stay in their homes if they choose, and make sure people do not have to pay for their care when they have advanced dementia.
  • Give relatives of care home residents the status of essential caregiver to ensure they are not separated from their loved ones in care homes in the way they have been during the pandemic.

Mr Rennie said:

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Scottish Liberal Democrats reveal 605 people sent to prison instead of drug treatment

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today (April 20th) said the next Scottish Government will only end the drug deaths crisis through compassion and health treatment, not prosecution, as he revealed new figures showing 605 people convicted of possession without intent to supply being sent to prison.

Meanwhile, only 108 people received a Drug Treatment and Testing Order during the same three year period (2016/17 to 2018/19).

Willie Rennie said the SNP’s drugs failure cost the lives of hundreds of people. 1,264 people died of drug-related deaths in 2019, the highest number since records began and three times the rate of England, Wales and the rest of Europe.

In the Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto, the party commits to:

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Rennie: Hard day for care home families

Following the BBC publishing for the first time the details of the number of deaths linked to coronavirus in each care home in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented:

"This will be the first time that many families learn the full extent of what happened in the homes of loved ones.  When I hear about the number of people who died in care homes I think of the devastated families across the country. 

“I warned at the time about the danger of admitting untested residents into care homes but the government insisted it was doing the right thing. 

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