Responding to the First Minister’s address to the SNP conference, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“The First Minister has put independence first.
“Everything else that needs to be done in Scotland, the mammoth task of recovery in front of us, all of that will have to wait for years in the queue behind another referendum.
“People who need urgent NHS care, who’s future depends on our education system back getting back to being the best in the world or who are counting the down the days for mental health support on long wait lists can’t afford to wait years or endure more division.
“What the people of Scotland need in this period of intense uncertainty is a focus on recovery not referendums.”
On the £500 payment to NHS and social care workers, Willie Rennie added:
"The Liberal Democrats have been calling for frontline workers to receive an extra payment for their frontline service for months. It would have been better to have paid this back in April when the Lib Dems suggested it, rather than saving it up for a conference speech".