Willie Rennie MSP’s New Year Message

I am hopeful for 2014.  I’ve been checking the tea leaves and it’s going to be a good year.

I am confident the economy will continue to grow and that we’ll create more jobs, cut taxes further and increase pension higher.

I am also confident we’ll reaffirm Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom family of nations so we can share risk and reward for generations to come. We won’t undermine the progress by splitting Scotland from the UK.

My confidence also extends to a boost to nursery education to give children the best start in life.

And I am confident that there will be critical steps towards more powers through home rule for the Scottish Parliament. Our plans means we can determine our destiny on the domestic agenda whilst sharing with the rest of the UK to benefit from the best of both worlds.

With this progress we are anchoring the UK in the centre ground. Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society so that everyone can get a chance to get on.

We can’t trust Labour to deliver a stronger economy, we can’t trust the Conservatives to deliver fairness and the SNP are too obsessed with independence to deliver either.

Scotland has a shop window to the world with the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and decision on our constitutional future. Rarely will we get such an opportunity to show who we are and how we carry ourselves.

This year we can also discover a bit more about who we are and what makes our country tick.

I think we will show the world we are an outward looking, confident, compassionate and economically thriving nation. That we are proud Scots who want to share in good times and in bad with our friends in Liverpool, Manchester and people right across the UK.

But to make this year the great success we want it to be we need everyone in Scotland to be a part of it. It’s now up to you.

* Willie Rennie MSP is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

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