Tag Archives: scottish elections 2016

Willie Rennie on the four key Liberal Democrat values and the Lib Dem record of achievement

Willie Rennie put in a strong first day at work and set out the ideas on which the Scottish Liberal Democrats will fight the election in just 4 months’  time.

 

Willie Rennie values

He firstly intervened on the First Minister whose government promised to give 27% of 2 year olds nursery education. They’ve managed barely half that.

Before the First Minister moves on from education, new official Government figures show that only 7 per cent of two-year-olds are receiving nursery education. The First Minister’s promise was that 27 per cent would. How can she talk about a revolution in education and in childcare when she cannot even meet her timid plans?

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What the Scottish Liberal Democrats should be saying in 2016

The Liberal Democrat manifesto for the Scottish elections this spring needs to be a cracker or we will not be noticed, even by the 5 per cent of voters who are thinking of supporting us.  So let me suggest a list of radical ideas.

First, we should be arguing for a 3p rise in income tax to raise around £1bn for public services.  Just about every day there is an example of our schools, colleges, health and care services, social work departments, police and fire brigades, libraries, sports fields etc. being short of money.  And George Osborne is only half way through his austerity programme.  This constant cutting has to end and we should be honest with people and say we all need to pay more in tax to halt this drastic decline in our public services. And while on the subject of income tax, we should say that from next year onwards (when Scotland gets its new powers) those earning over £60,000 a year should pay income tax at 50 per cent, so raising another £100m for public services.

Of course, extra funding should not be pumped into these public services without constant reform. The funding should be targeted….on struggling schools, poor communities, on preventive medicine not expensive treatments for the very old.     

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