The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today set out proposals for a minister for recovery as part of their plan to put recovery first.
The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, warned “every minute of the next Parliament must focus on the climate emergency, creating jobs, mental health and education.”
Under the Scottish Liberal Democrat plan, a Recovery First Secretary would replace the Deputy First Minister in the government hierarchy and have responsibility for cross-government work on recovery.
The party says the move, which would see civil service staff and resources moved from planning an independence referendum, will free the First Minister to continue to lead weekly briefings and take day-to-day decisions on the pandemic.
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said:
“Liberal Democrats offer a choice at this election to appoint a Recovery First Secretary with a mission to steer the health, education and jobs through to recovery. The alternative is a constitution minister under the SNP who will spend their time on plans for a divisive referendum.
“The Liberal Democrat Recovery First Secretary will use the civil service expertise currently earmarked by the SNP to write their replacement 670 page white paper on independence.
“We know that top civil servants will be used to draw up the plan for independence. They will be skilled negotiators who will have to sort out the arguments between the different factions of the nationalists about the currency, central bank and whether to rejoin the EU.
“This talent should be used instead to plan a recovery that balances the needs of the health service, education and business.
“It is bad enough that the SNP spent valuable time in the last year writing their independence legislation. It will be much worse if they waste precious moments after the election on independence rather than recovery.
“We can make this stop. A growing number of Liberal Democrat MSPs elected at this election can force the government to put recovery first and ditch the wasteful independence plans. Now is not the moment.”