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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

  • key_wind_turbine.jpg
    Article: Mar 1, 2015

    Liberal Democrats have set out plans to double the UK's production of renewable electricity by the end of the next parliament and make Britain zero carbon by 2050.

    This would end the UK's adverse impact on climate change for good.

    In government the Liberal Democrats have already more than doubled the amount of electricity from renewables.

  • Article: Feb 27, 2015

    Speaking at the Welsh Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Cardiff, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that the Welsh NHS could benefit from up to £450m extra under his party's plans.

    Accusing the Labour party of failing to support Wales' health service, Nick argued that this extra investment can be used, amongst other things, to support Kirsty Williams' pledge to increase the number of nurses on hospital wards.

  • Article: Feb 27, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Peer Jeremy Purvis has today welcomed the successful progress though the House of Lords of the Lib Dem Bill to enshrine the UK's aid spending target in law.

    The Bill, which was proposed in the Commons by Michael Moore MP and which would ensure 0.7% of the UK's Gross National Income is spend on international aid, cleared its Report Stage despite sustained pressure from a small minority of Peers set on derailing the proposals.

  • Article: Feb 27, 2015

    Labour's plan to cap maximum tuition fees to £6,000 is deeply regressive. Under their plans only the wealthiest graduates would benefit.

    Only graduates with a starting salary of at least £35,000 would pay less. A salary only paid for by a handful of big City firms.

    This compares to an average graduate starting salary of £21,700.

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Commenting on the Conservatives record on immigration, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

    "I said to David Cameron he shouldn't make the commitment because it was inevitable he was going to break it because you can't control the net figure.

    "They made that commitment - we said we were not going to do it as a coalition government .. and they are now going to have to suffer the embarrassment.

  • key_Pensions.jpg
    Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show the highest level of pension saving since records began in 1997.

    Pension membership has risen across all age groups. The figures underline the success of automatic enrolment, where workers are automatically placed in a pensions scheme.

    To date the programme has brought more than five million workers into a pension scheme.

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said the Chief Constable must to listen to frontline police officers after a critical independent report today revealed that the morale of police officers in Ayrshire was being damaged by constant pressure to conduct stop and searches.

    An HMICS inspection of Police Scotland's Ayrshire division said: "Whilst we acknowledge KPI and performance targets are strongly reinforced in the division we noted that some officers and staff felt that the emphasis on targets had unintended consequences." It went on to note that officers within the force felt that the use of stop and search was prioritised disproportionately over other valuable police work that was not measured.

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    This morning I announced the results of the first auction for green energy generation. The results are impressive - more clean energy at lower costs.

    Thanks to this first renewable electricity competition of its kind, I have offered contracts to 27 renewable energy projects across the UK. Enough to power 1.4 million homes and save the equivalent carbon emissions of taking 2 million cars off the road.

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced an extra £500,000 to provide support for veterans in Colchester.

    Vulnerable ex-military service men and women in Colchester will benefit from the Veterans Pathway which will help them full reintegrate back into civilian life.

    Veterans Pathway is a consortium established to provide 65 units of temporary, supported and independent accommodation for ex-service men and women most in need.

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Minister for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey has announced plans for 27 renewable electricity projects which together could power 1.4 million homes, comparable to the number of households in Wales.

    If built, these projects could support thousands of green jobs, bolster energy security and cut the cost of renewable electricity.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    Jobseekers have taken part in more than 469,000 voluntary placements through Jobcentre Plus since January 2011, according to new figures published today by the Department for Work and Pensions.

    Around seven in ten participants were young people able to gain skills and experience to help them move into paid work. Accordingly, the number of young people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance is now at its lowest since the 1970s.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie MSP has sought to rally support from MSPs against the SNP's worrying plans to create a super ID database.

    Mr Rennie tabled a motion in parliament today as the Scottish Government's controversial consultation on the plans drew to a close.

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that the database would be intrusive, costly and would increase the power of the state. The party has already put forward a list of parliamentary questions to SNP ministers amidst concerns that the appropriate work hasn't been undertaken to identify the full risks.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that fault lies squarely at the SNP Government's door for a crisis in Scotland's hospitals which has resulted in thousands of beds being blocked by patients clinically able to leave hospital.

    Figures revealed today showed that in December last year, despite the NHS in Scotland catering for a tenth of the population of England, the number of bed blocking days represented a quarter of that of England's. 31,610 bed blocking days were reported in Scotland, with two NHS Grampian hospitals accounting for a tenth of all delayed discharges.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have demanded an explanation from SNP ministers over claims on NHS funding after figures revealed that health boards across Scotland are still being short changed.

    On the 11th January this year, the Scottish Government issued a statement which said that an additional tranche of funding would "bring all health boards to within one per cent of parity under the NHS funding formula, NRAC, a year earlier than planned."

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    Growth in the UK has shown the strongest performance among G7 countries from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

    Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has welcomed the fact that today's OECD report sets out that the best way to secure the recovery in the next Parliament is to finish the job of deficit reduction and to do so fairly by selective tax increases on the wealthy.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that the Scottish Government is failing children and young people with mental health problems as figures published today showed health boards failed to meet an old target in access to crucial Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

    Official statistics published today showed that between October and December last year, 86 percent of children and adolescents were seen at CAMHS units within the March 2013 target of 26 weeks. In December 2014, the target treatment time was reduced to 18 weeks. Between the same period, only 78.9 percent of patients were seen within the December 2014 target of 18 weeks.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned the system of retained firefighters risks being stretched to breaking point as new figures revealed the loss of hundreds of staff during the first year of the new national service.

    Official statistics published today showed that between April 2013 and March 2014 the total number of full-time equivalent staff working for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service dropped from 8,125 to 7,690 - a decrease of five per cent compared to one per cent the previous year.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    A package of measures worth £530,000 will be invested in encouraging students to register to vote, the government has revealed.

    The National Union of Students will be allocated funding to run national competition for student unions to find the best ideas to get students to sign up to the electoral register.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has called on the Scottish Government to explain why the costs of its investment in Prestwick Airport soared from £15m to nearly £40m.

    An Audit Scotland report published today (24th February) revealed that the revised business plan agreed in May 2014 showed taxpayers would loan the airport £39.6m by April 2021, but parliament was not informed of these details.

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has today announced that the Low Pay Commission's recommendations to government for the 2015 rates are as follows:

    Adult rate - £6.70

    18-20 rate - £5.30

    16-17 rate - £3.87

    Apprenticeship rate - £2.80

    Commenting Vince said:

    "Today the Low Pay Commission have made their recommendations to government that the adult national minimum wage should rise by just over 3 per cent to £6.70 an hour from October 2015 .

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    Tim Farron tells the Liberal Democrats' Diversity and Outreach Officer Lucile Kamar about what he feels is his most important work.

    Described as "a brave politician" who delivered "the stand out speech out of all the party conferences" by Operation Black Vote, Tim Farron, MP for the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale is clearly championing diversity.

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Jeremy Purvis said the findings of the House of Lord's Constitution Committee that moving ahead with reform in one part of the UK may herald a desire for wider reform is a good reason to progress with the legislation, not to delay it.

    Commenting, Lord Jeremy Purvis said:

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    Leading Liberal Democrats have urged people to shout loudly in their opposition to the SNP's plans to expand access to their super ID database.

    The public consultation on the controversial plans will end on Wednesday this week (25th February). The Scottish Government's proposals will expand access to their NHS Central Register to 120 public bodies, assigning each individual with a unique citizen reference number to accompany their data stored on one central database.

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    The working age poor will pay the price under the Conservatives' plans to ring -fence pensioners benefits.

    The Conservatives plans include protecting all universal pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free TV licences.

    Liberal Democrats believe in creating a fairer society. Our plans include removing the winter fuel payments and free TV licences from the wealthiest five per cent of pensioners.

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    In a speech on Liberal Democrat justice policy Nick Clegg will say that a rising prison population is a sign of "failure not success."

    Nick will make the case that too many abused and vulnerable women, drug addicts and people with mental health problems are currently locked up behind bars.

    Nick will call for an evidence-based approach to do "what works" to cut crime, not just "to sound tough" or "play to the gallery."

  • Article: Feb 22, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will tomorrow (Monday 23 February) highlight the importance of economic stability and why the Liberal Democrats are the only Party capable of delivering for business in the UK.

    Speaking to an audience at the Saïd Business School in Oxford Danny is expected to say:

  • Article: Feb 22, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is calling for fewer women offenders to be put behind bars.

    In a speech on Liberal Democrat justice policy on Monday, Nick will describe the plight of thousands of abused and vulnerable women imprisoned in England and Wales as a "litany of despair."

  • Article: Feb 20, 2015

    Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems Willie Rennie MSP has accused the SNP of treating concerns over the creation of a new super ID database with "breathtaking indifference".

    His comments come after Deputy First Minister John Swinney sought to play down fears over the privacy implications of plans to allow 120 public bodies to access information held in an extended NHS database.

    SNP Ministers have failed undertake a crucial privacy impact assessment of the controversial plans and a limited public consultation on the changes is set to close next week.

    Mr Rennie will be tabling parliamentary questions to put further pressure on the SNP to undertake the work needed to identify the risks of a central database register.

    Speaking to members in Fife today, Mr Rennie said:

    "The SNP are showing breathtaking indifference to concerns over their super ID database plans. These changes would see a massive expansion in the number of people who can access private information from a database that includes our health records.

    "The SNP campaigned with us against similar plans when Labour put them forward but it seems that they no longer care about protecting our right to privacy.

    "Campaigners have been clear that the super ID database plans pose a real risk to our personal information. There are legitimate fears that this could be the first step towards introducing ID cards by the back door.

    "Pushing these proposals through on the basis of what many people consider a sham consultation is simply not good enough. We need to see a proper Privacy Impact Assessment carried out and published before any final decision is taken."

  • Article: Feb 19, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that their case for all stop and searches to be put on a legal footing is "stronger than ever" following an admission by the Chief Constable that under the current system police officers could still conduct consensual stop and searches of children.

    During evidence to the Scottish Parliament's subcommittee on policing, Chief Constable Stephen House said that consensual stop and search was "policy not law."

    Speaking afterwards, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

    "The Chief Constable remains unwilling to take on widely held concerns. Hard-working police officers across the country deserve better.

    "The Chief Constable's defence of "indefensible" stop and searches makes it essential to put them on a legal footing. He made clear that there is absolutely nothing to stop police officers conducting consensual stop and searches of under 12s.

    "It isn't fair on communities or on police officers to have a system where police chiefs have free rein. If we are being told consensual stop and searches of children will end, it must end.

    "My amendments would help restore confidence in the police and give police officers clear parameters in which to operate."

  • Article: Feb 19, 2015

    Liberal Democrats plans to extend free childcare will save families thousands of pounds, Liberal Democrats Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

    Liberal Democrats will provide 15 hours of free childcare to all children of working parents aged between 9 months and 2 years old. Under the policy, the average family will save £2,670 each year.

    Speaking on his weekly radio show on LBC, Call Clegg, Nick said:

    "One of the things we've discovered over time is that the kind of help you give as a society to little children, before they've even hung up their coat on their first day of primary school, has as dramatic, if not more dramatic, effect on their subsequent ability to do well in life than actually what happens as teenagers in the classroom."