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Willie Rennie MSP Leader of the Scottish Liberal DemocratsThe Liberal Democrats are working to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That's why in Government we have given 24 million people a £700 tax cut, created 1 million jobs and helped 1.5 million apprentices.

We are the only party that can anchor Britain in the centre ground, ensuring we have sustainable growth and equality of opportunity.

Labour can't be trusted with the economy, in government they would drag Britain to the left, borrowing too much, spending too much and risking the recovery.

And the Conservatives can't be trusted to treat people fairly. If Liberal Democrats weren't in Government, the Tories would focus attention on the best-off, let employers fire staff without cause and allow schools to be run for profit.

Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.


Recent updates

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that SNP ministers must be unrelenting in their efforts to drive down the £3bn cost of reoffending to Scotland each year.

    The call comes after figures published today showed that seventeen per cent (or 18,231) of all convictions in 2013-14 resulted in a main penalty of a community sentence. These have increased by 5 percentage points since 2004-05.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    In the wake of the Scottish Referendum result and the Smith Commission process it is right that Government and all political parties should consider the implications for England, and indeed the rest of the United Kingdom.

    The Liberal Democrats believe it is now time to set out a reform programme to devolve more powers within England and to address the so called "West Lothian Question."

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has today formally launched his bid to stop smoking in cars with children present. The Scottish Liberal Democrat has now formally introduced a member's bill, which, if passed, could see smokers hit with a £100 fine if they are caught smoking in their car whilst children under the age of 18 are present.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has written to the Conservative and Labour LGA heads - Cllr Gary Porter and Cllr Jim McMahon on the issue of council tax.

    Dear Gary/Jim,

    As you may be aware, there have been some discussions in the past few weeks regarding the level at which the Council Tax referendum threshold should be set.

    While some Conservative colleagues in the Coalition Government favour leaving the cap at the level that it is, other Conservative colleagues have argued in favour of lowering the threshold to 1%. In practice, this would mean that even the smallest rise in Council Tax would result in Local Authorities having to hold a referendum.

    As I am sure you know, only one Liberal Democrat authority raised Council Tax at all last year and this level of discipline and protection for Council Tax payers has been a consistent trait of Liberal Democrat councils throughout this Parliament. Many more Labour and Conservative controlled councils chose to increase Council Tax last year.

    The Liberal Democrats have long believed in devolving power to the most local level, on the principle that the best decisions tend to be made by those closest to the people those decisions effect. It is for this reason, that the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government will not support proposals to lower the referendum threshold.

    Because of the state of the public finances, we are having to ask a lot of Local Authorities, who, by and large, are rising to the challenge of cutting expenditure while protecting important public services. Lowering the threshold will put unnecessary further pressure on local authorities and the much needed services they provide.

    Lowering the threshold is a change of policy that puts an unnecessary further constraint on local authorities. While I would strongly argue for local authorities to protect taxpayers from rises in Council Tax, nevertheless this is a choice that should rightly be made by Local Authorities and not be imposed centrally.

    While Conservative and Labour Councils have been quick to increase Council Tax, Lib Dems have not. In the end, these councils should be accountable to their electorates. It is not for central government to impose such constraints.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Danny Alexander MP

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said that today marks a proud day for equality, as same-sex couples in civil partnerships can marry in Scotland.

    From Hogmanay all same-sex couples will have the legal right to marry.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "Today is a proud day for equality in Scotland. Today, those already in civil partnerships can marry. By Hogmanay, people in Scotland will celebrate ringing in a new year and ringing in a fairer society. Scotland will join its place with England and Wales where we celebrate love equally, gay or straight.

    "This festive period we should enjoy an extra toast to the same sex couples getting married and be proud that now everyone has that choice, and the freedom which comes from it."

  • Article: Dec 15, 2014

    Like all 13 or 14 year olds of my generation in the UK I had my BCG vaccination while I was at High School. I remember that we all compared our scars for months afterwards. We believed at that time that TB - like smallpox - could be eradicated from our society.

    TB, or consumption, was supposed to be an illness of poverty of times gone by. In Victorian Britain it was known as 'the silent killer' and as many as one in four deaths was attributable to TB. So high was the TB death rate, in fact, that TB has been estimated to have killed more people than any other infectious disease in human history.

  • Article: Dec 15, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that urgent action must be taken to put health boards back on track towards meeting crucial mental health waiting time targets.

    Mental health charity SAMH today expressed their disappointment that only four out of 14 health boards are meeting the target for 90 percent of patients to be seen within 18 weeks. The new target is due for delivery by health boards from this month.

  • Article: Dec 15, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has urged Holyrood's Finance Committee to recall the Head of Revenue Scotland to give evidence after a report from Audit Scotland into the new tax body stood completely at odds with a statement given by the tax chief at the committee where she said "there is nothing negative that I need to report."

  • Article: Dec 15, 2014

    Reports that production at almost all of Scotland's opencast coal mines could grind to a halt next year has led to a warning that the devastation caused by the failing industry could blight the countryside for decades.

    This week shares in Hargreaves fell by 14% after a trading update as coal prices have fallen dramatically this year. Only last year Hargreaves took over mines after the collapse of ATH and Scottish Coal.

  • Article: Dec 15, 2014

    A Conservative majority Government would cut the education budget by more than a quarter - or £13.3bn a year - by 2020, Liberal Democrat analysis has found.

    The analysis is based on the spending, tax and borrowing commitments made by David Cameron and George Osborne.

    Unlike the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives have not committed to protecting funding for schools, nurseries and colleges in the next parliament.