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Willie Rennie MSP Leader of the Scottish Liberal DemocratsWelcome to our website. The Liberal Democrats are now the only party that can deliver social justice. We are the only choice for anyone who wants a stronger economy in a fairer society enabling everyone in the United Kingdom to get on in life.

We are putting money back in the pockets of ordinary families. We are building a stable, green economy for each and every one of us. We will continue to change politics so that every person in the United Kingdom counts.

"You can find out more, including how to keep in touch or join the Liberal Democrats, on this site."

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Recent updates

  • Article: Apr 22, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson and MSP for the NorthAlison McInnesAlison McInnes East Alison McInnes has today said a petition put to a Holyrood committee shows the extent to which people feel let down by the SNP's police and fire centralisation plans.

    A former police control room worker, and an Inverness resident put forward a petition to the Public Petition's Committee calling for a review of a decision to close police and fire control rooms north of Dundee. The petition will now be considered by the Justice Committee and the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, of which Ms McInnes is a member.

    Commenting on the petition, Ms McInnes said:

    "This petition shows the clear extent to which people in the North East and Highlands and Islands feel let down by the closures caused by the SNP's centralisation plans. Scottish Liberal Democrats share concerns that the closure of police and fire control rooms, and frontline police counters, represents a damaging loss of local knowledge.

    "From Aberdeen and Montrose to Durness and Portree, decades of local policing is being replaced by a one-size-fits-all faceless organisation. As a member of the justice committee I will be doing my utmost to ensure the justice secretary pays heed to these local voices."

  • Article: Apr 22, 2014

    This Easter weekend, Nick Clegg wrote an article in the Guardian to outline why Britain is better off IN Europe.

    With 22 May approaching, it is Ukip's goal to propel Britain closer to the door. Nick points out that this risks us drifting away from our biggest export market and jeopardising our still fragile economic recovery, as well as threatening millions of jobs.

  • Article: Apr 21, 2014

    North East Liberal Democrat politicians are calling on the Scottish Government to stop dithering and to get shovels in the ground to build a much-needed flyover on the A90 at Laurencekirk.

    Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, met NorthSir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith East MSP Alison McInnes and councillors David May and Peter Bellarby at the blackspot.

    The campaign for a flyover - or an underpass - has met resistance from the Scottish Government for years. On Thursday campaigners will be taken their protest outside the Scottish Parliament to call on MSPs to back them.

    Sir Robert commented: "The North East is the powerhouse of Scotland's economy, yet the Scottish Government has failed to invest in key transport projects such as this junction.

    "For many years now the local community have made the case for a safer junction. The fact that the current junction needs a 50mph limit goes to show that it is no longer suitable. Meanwhile the Scottish Government is investing in a new rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is time they stopped neglecting the North East."

    Mrs McInnes said: "The Transport Minister is on record stating that aAlison McInnes MSPAlison McInnes MSP grade separated junction will have to be funded by developers. But a grade separated junction is needed now to address the existing safety issues. Although the 50mph zone has reduced the risk, there still are drivers who do not heed or see the warning signs and drive at 70mph - or more.

    "Developers should only have to fund new junctions when their development is the cause of extra traffic which necessitates a flyover or underpass.

    "The Scottish Government should accept its responsibilities and commit to a flyover or underpass now. This is not some airy-fairy political argument. It is about people's lives."

  • Article: Apr 21, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today said the best way toGeorge LyonGeorge Lyon protect the special treatment Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family.

    Mr Lyon was speaking following reports that a new paper from the European Movement group suggested the SNP government should consider delaying the date of Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote because of potential difficulties during talks at the EU.

    The report warns that the 18 month period set out by the SNP would be vulnerable to delaying tactics from other member states. The EU membership terms for an independent Scotland would have to be signed off by every one of the other EU member states.

    Recent accession negotiations for new EU states have taken between 8 and 14 years.

    Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland benefits at the EU from things like a share of the big UK budget rebate, key opt-outs on the Euro and control over our borders. People would not want to see this special treatment frittered away as the cost of securing a quick settlement in Brussels in the event of a yes vote.

    "The best way to protect the positive benefits Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family. The fact is that in the event of a yes vote Scotland would face the prospect of rejoining the EU on worse terms than we enjoy at present.

    "The European Movement have no particular referendum axe to grind and they are simply restating what many experts have already told us: that the SNP's independence timetable in the event of a vote to leave the UK is not realistic."

  • Article: Apr 19, 2014

    Plans for tougher penalties against reckless directors have been unveiled by Business Secretary Vince Cable today.

    While the UK already has one of the strongest disqualification regimes in the world - with disqualification periods ranging from two years up to fifteen years for the worst offenders - the new measures will mean the rogue minority face stronger deterrents to break the law and more robust sanctions if they do.

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has welcomed aWillie RennieWillie Rennie survey published by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce today showing almost all key performance measures have returned to 2007 pre-recession levels.

    The survey showed business confidence increased further on the year.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland is sharing in the economic recovery that has taken hold.

    "Businesses are driving the recovery which is why it is so important they are getting the backing they need from Ministers. With a big national insurance cut and support to boost exports, Liberal Democrats in government are helping firms grow and create more jobs. 16,000 more Scots have found work in the last 3 months alone.

    "I want Scottish businesses to be able to look to the future with confidence and this survey is full of positive news."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has saidJim HumeJim Hume that NHS Scotland and Scotland's health boards should move swiftly to consider action after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde removed all plastic bin bags from all of its mental health wards following two suicides.

    A report today revealed that the board was instructed by the Health and Safety Executive to remove polythene bin bags following reviews into two separate tragedies.

    Mr Hume said:

    "Whilst we will not comment on these specific and tragic individual cases, the recommendation by HSE to remove all polythene bin bags from mental health wards in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has clear implications for all health boards in Scotland. Our universal health service means that all mental health patients and their families should expect the same level of care regardless of where they are being treated.

    "In light of this recommendation ordered by the HSE, NHS Scotland must now move swiftly to consider whether this is an appropriate measure to adopt across Scotland's health boards. I know that NHS boards, responsible for managing their own procedures, will want to work quickly with all relevant partners to ensure any lessons are learnt.

    "One in four adults will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. We need to ensure that any issue around mental health care is resolved just as quickly as any other problem on our health boards."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    I am confident that Lib Dems will be united in welcoming today's news that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers. The proposed register would introduce tougher regulations on the arms trade and is yet another historic victory for the Lib Dems in government.

    Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will have to appear on a public registry, with possible requirements to attend training courses and suitability assessments.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today encouraged Scots toGeorge Lyon MEPGeorge Lyon MEP join a campaign calling on the EU to change tax rules and allow mountain and lowland rescue services to be made exempt from VAT.

    Commenting as an EU consultation on public interest exemptions from VAT entered its final few days, Mr Lyon said that changing tax regulations for mountain and lowland rescue teams would give these key services a real boost.

    Mr Lyon and fellow Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies met with EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemet earlier this year to discuss this issue.

    Backing the campaign, Jonathon Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, said that axing VAT would have real financial benefits for mountain rescue teams.

    George Lyon MEP said:

    "In 2011 alone a total of 573 incidents were responded to by Scottish mountain rescue teams, and these numbers are increasing every year. Mountain and lowland rescue teams are effectively front line emergency services in many parts of Scotland.

    "These volunteers put their lives on the line and deserve our full support. We know that cutting VAT for mountain and lowland rescue teams would make a real financial difference and I hope as many Scots as possible will back our campaign.

    "The consultation in Brussels is closing soon and this is our last chance to make the case for a change to the rules at the EU. it is important that we send a strong message that axing the VAT is the right thing to do."

    Jonathan Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, added:

    "Mountain Rescue in Scotland is carried out by world class volunteers delivering a service free of charge to people in need of aid in the mountains of Scotland. The majority of our funding comes from private donation and we do receive money from both the UK and Scottish Governments.

    "We are not a political organisation and support any move toward reducing costs or increasing income for Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams. In the case of VAT we would like to thank all the MPs and MEPs who are involved in the campaign which if successful would undoubtedly benefit volunteer teams financially."

    People wishing to join the campaign can sign up here.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has welcomed news that South WestJim HumeJim Hume Scotland is set to benefit by nearly £40 million from a new scheme to help young people into work.

    The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) will provide £170 million of UK government funding to help young people aged 15-24 find work.

    This investment will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.

    Southwest Scotland, one of five areas selected to receive support, is in line to benefit by £38.6 million.

    Commenting, Jim Hume said:

    "More people are in work across the country than ever before but there is always more that can be done. Liberal Democrats are helping build a stronger Scottish economy in government and any initiative to get more people into work is welcome.

    "We know that long spells of unemployment at the start of a young persons' career can be damaging for years down the line. This new investment will make a real difference to young people in the south of Scotland and give them the best possible start to their working life.

    "With UK spending being matched by EU investment this new initiative is another reason why Liberal Democrats are working to keep Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe."