Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called for the whole Scottish Parliament to oppose the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill "power grab" on Wednesday afternoon.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned against Scottish Government plans to permanently take control of emergency powers granted during the Covid-19 pandemic which cover everything from closing schools to the early release of prisoners.
The Scottish Government’s proposed bill comes despite the First Minister declaring on 24th March 2020 that: “I am very clear that the emergency powers are necessary and they should exist only for as long as they are needed.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"When the pandemic hit, we all took a deep breath and granted deep and wide-ranging powers to the government to get us through. However, even the First Minister was clear that these powers were never meant to be forever.
“If there is a future crisis, the Scottish Parliament has demonstrated that it is capable of working at speed to provide the necessary tools for tackling it.
“This should not be taken as an opportunity for a colossal SNP power grab, lining their pockets with powers that they nobody would have countenanced handing over pre-pandemic.
"SNP ministers have a track record of taking decisions at the last minute with little regard for public accountability. Parliament should not be handing the keys to ministers to make decisions affecting everything from school closure to the mass release of prisoners behind closed doors.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats will be voting against this SNP power grab.”