Cole-Hamilton: SNP must do more to help Ukraine refugees

Writing in the Edinburgh Evening News, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton condemned the SNP government for its slow progress in accepting and settling Ukrainian refugees:

Scottish ministers wanted the kudos of being seen to help but did little of the preparation to make it happen. As such, we have homes across Scotland still waiting either to be processed or matched to a Ukrainian guest. We also have Ukrainians placed in remote areas without access to transport.

He said:

The disconnect is so bad that last week the government had to commission a cruise ship as a stop-gap to cope with the refugees they couldn’t house. Those involved are quietly concerned that if something doesn’t turn up soon then it could become a floating refugee camp.

Cole-Hamilton called for a five-point plan from the Scottish Government:

  • a fresh public call for homes and hosts and better support for refugees in seeking permanent housing
  • the extension of free bus passes to all Ukrainian refugees for at least their first year in Scotland
  • increased support for local authorities to conduct disclosure checks of hosts, vetting of accommodation and matching of guests
  • early identification of the skills of those arriving so that they can be matched with job opportunities
  • comprehensive language support, particularly around healthcare.

From September, the Cole-Hamilton family will be welcoming a Ukrainian refugee into their home.

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One Comment

  • Brad Barrows 5th Aug '22 - 8:32am

    I agree that the Scottish government should be doing more but it is worth pointing out that by mid-July Scotland had already accepted 20% of all Ukrainian refugees in the UK though we are less than 10% of the UK population. Free bus travel for refugees is a good idea so I hope ACH keeps making it.

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