Rennie: Lib Dems can set the agenda

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will address the party's spring conference today and pay tribute to his party's ability to set the agenda on public policy in Scotland.

Mr Rennie is expected to say:

"Through our persistence we have successfully made the case for a liberal, open, progressive Scotland. 

"Just listen to the list.

"Free school meals for young children.

"Funding for superfast broadband.

"The first renewable energy targets.

"Fuel duty cuts for rural areas and support for island ferries.

"Early education for 2-year-olds. We badgered about this for years and now it is mainstream policy.

"Mental health. We agitated on mental health for years and, even if the Scottish Government’s contribution is pitiful, it is now at the centre of political debate.

"On tax we were the first party to propose a progressive use of new tax powers. Tax powers delivered by the Liberal Democrats in Government. The SNP used to oppose our proposal for progressive taxation but finally accepted the need for change.

"We persuaded the government to reverse some of the damaging cuts to colleges.

"On education called for a pupil premium in Scotland for six years before the SNP finally gave in. Now teachers have been praising the impact of the policy.

"And we stood up against the centralisation of the police because of the damage it would do... and boy have we been proven right.

"This is Liberal Democrats winning the argument, making the change, delivering for Scotland."

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