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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 19, 2014

    Liberal Democrats in government have announced a further £12 million investment to help people with mental health conditions get back into work.

    This ties in with the Liberal Democrats' commitment to bringing treatment for mental health problems out of the shadows and in line with physical health.

    You can back our campaign to help us stamp out the stigma attached to mental health here.

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    As the number of university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time this year, the gap between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged students is at its lowest.

    Liberal Democrats put safeguards in place to encourage disadvantaged young people to go to university. Setting the system on a sustainable footing, with the poorest 30% of graduates paying less overall than under the old system.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2014

    A progress report into the processes and cultures within the Liberal Democrats has been published by Helena Morrissey.

    You can read the full progress report here.

    Responding to the report, Party President Tim Farron, said:

    "I very much welcome the report, and I'm pleased the party has made positive steps in the right direction. Helena Morrissey has undertaken a badly needed review that has already triggered important progress in our party.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2014

    A million home improvements will keep Britain's homes warmer for less this Christmas thanks to energy efficiency schemes introduced by Liberal Democrats in government.

    In under two years, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal package delivered new boilers, windows and insulation to around 830,000 extra houses, meaning warmer homes and lowers bills in time for Christmas.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson is calling on the retail sector to do what is best - ensuring the greatest choice by marketing toys for all children, rather than for boys and girls separately.

    Many girls still believe that some science subjects are not for them - almost half of all state-schools had no girls taking A-level physics in recent years. Campaigners have suggested that this is in part because the future aspirations of girls and boys are set at a very early age.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2014

    1.3m schoolchildren across England are now enjoying a free school lunch thanks to Liberal Democrats in government.

    Figures out today (December 18) show that the policy has had a very high uptake in its first three months, with a total of more than 1.6m children enjoying a school meal every lunchtime.

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    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

  • Article: Dec 17, 2014

    When asked about his views on TTIP during the Bite the Ballot Leaders' Live Debate, Nick Clegg said:

    "I would never endorse TTIP, which is a big new deal which is being negotiated between Europe and America, unless it was absolutely crystal clear that we are allowed to do exactly what we want with our public services, with our cherished NHS, without being undermined by TTIP.

  • Article: Dec 17, 2014

    Prime Minister David Cameron has implied that people are fed up with onshore wind farms being built, despite the Government's own research showing that a large majority of the public back them.

    Latest research by the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows that 67 per cent of people support onshore wind farms. However, the Conservatives have said they would not subsidise new onshore turbines if they win the general election.

  • Article: Dec 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said that Scottish Liberal Democrat will urge the SNP to keep their eye on the ball and do what they can to boost jobs and growth.

    Figures published today showed that whilst the number of those in work has fallen slightly, the rate of unemployment has fallen further to 5.6 percent.

  • Article: Dec 17, 2014

    Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that unemployment has fallen again.

    In the three months to October, unemployment fell by 63,000.

    The rate of unemployment stands at 6 per cent, its lowest level in 6 years.

    There are 30.8m people in work and 1.7m new jobs have been created since Liberal Democrats entered government.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Nick Clegg has said that all 16-21 year olds in England will get a 66% discount on bus travel.

    Appearing on Bite the Ballot's Leaders Live, which can be viewed on Youtube, Nick Clegg set out the proposal which would see all 16-21 year olds would be given a Young Person's Bus Pass. It would help young people with the cost of travel by offering a minimum two thirds discount on bus travel in England. Bus companies would then be able to add their own discounts on top of that.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg chaired his first Mental Health Taskforce meeting this afternoon with Ministers from across the coalition.

    The Mental Health Taskforce was set up by Nick Clegg in order to combine Government's efforts and pool its resources to help the millions of people whose mental health condition is preventing them from getting on in life.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb has announced a signing of a new deal with Post Office Limited to ensure the Post Office Account, previously due to be withdrawn next year, remains available until at least 2022.

    The new £250m seven-year contract will protect services for vulnerable pensioners and benefit claimants, as well as safeguard the future of the Post Office network.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that sluggish improvements in performance against cancer waiting times targets mean that too many patients are still facing long waits to begin treatment within 62 days of urgent referral.

    Official figures published today showed that 93.5 percent of patients in July-September this year started treatment within 62 days of urgent referral compared to 92.9% for April-June.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that the real legacy of the referendum experience must be a reinvigorated democracy.

    An electoral commission report into the referendum published today said that the referendum was well run and an example to be followed. The paper found that 10 percent of the 85 percent of those who turned out to vote were voting for the first time. 109,593 of those were aged 16 and 17.

  • 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.

  • Article: Dec 12, 2014

    The number of workers automatically enrolled into a workplace pension across the UK has now reached five million. This marks a milestone halfway point of policy roll-out which will see around 10 million automatically enrolled by 2018.

    Liberal Democrats in government introduced automatic enrolment, which their boss and the government pay in to, in order to give people the confidence to save for retirement.

  • Article: Dec 12, 2014

    Two local Lib Dem teams have stormed to victory in three by elections held yesterday.

    Firstly, Peter Agoro took a seat from Labour in Aylesbury, while the local Lib Dem group also held onto one other seat.

    And in Rawcliffe Parish Council in York, John Ballantine gained the seat from an Independent, taking the Lib Dem group on the council to 4 out of the 9 seats on this Parish, up from none in 2011.

  • Article: Dec 12, 2014

    Two local Lib Dem teams have stormed to victory in three by elections held yesterday.

    Firstly, Peter Agoro took a seat from Labour in Gatehouse ward, Aylesbury, while the Anders Christensen also held onto one other seat in Southcourt ward.

    And in Rawcliffe Parish Council in York, John Ballantine gained the seat from an Independent, taking the Lib Dem group on the council to 4 out of the 9 seats on this Parish, up from none in 2011.

  • Article: Dec 12, 2014

    Figures published today by the Scottish Funding Council show the extent of unmet demand for student bursaries. Colleges asked for £14.7m to meet demand from students but will receive only £3.5m. Five colleges which requested support will receive no funding.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:

  • Article: Dec 12, 2014

    Leader of Eastbourne Council, David Tutt, has won a prestigious award for transforming the town.

    The award is to recognise the contribution local leaders make in advancing the liberal cause and was introduced by the Liberal Democrats' party grouping, ALDE in the Committee of the Regions.

    David was nominated by Eastbourne's Euro-MP, Catherine Bearder, for his enormous contribution to the local community by attracting investment into the town, including £100 million from Legal & General.