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Liberal Youth Scotland backs Fred Mackintosh

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The Lib Dem team is campaigning for communities across all of south and south-west Edinburgh. Our Citizen and Focus teams have been actively campaigning in the city for over 40 years.

The Edinburgh South seat at Westminster remains one of the most marginal Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the country and we are determined to win back the Edinburgh South seat at Holyrood.

On this site you will find information on what is happening in south Edinburgh (that's Edinburgh South and Edinburgh Pentlands, and at Westminster, Edinburgh South and Edinburgh South West). And you can find out about the work we're doing on behalf of the people and communities amongst which we live.

STOP PRESS: A record of delivery - read what the LibDems have delivered in government (click here)

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Recent updates

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP has saidWillie RennieWillie Rennie that it is puzzling that the SNP could not support plans to cut tax for people on low and middle incomes. This comes after the SNP voted against a Scottish Liberal Democrat amendment supporting moves by the Liberal Democrat in the UK Government.

    The increasing of the income tax threshold has already seen 224,000 of the lowest earners lifted out of tax altogether. More than 2 million Scots have been given a £700 tax cut.

    Speaking after the parliamentary debate on the living wag0065, Mr Rennie said:

    "Despite previous proclamations of support for cutting tax for people on low and middle incomes, this reveals how hollow those words were. This vote confirms that the SNP do not favour helping those who would benefit from a tax cut most.

    "It is puzzling why a party that claims to be on the side of workers is against our proposals which have already been delivered. We want to go further by raising the threshold to £12,500 so that people in the minimum wage would no longer pay any income tax. This is real action by government which delivers a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling more people to get on in life.

    "Scottish Liberal Democrats have lifted 224,000 of the lowest earners out of tax altogether. More than 2 million Scots have been given a £700 tax cut. It is puzzling that the SNP could not support this."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP hasLiam McArthurLiam McArthur said the SNP Government should set the record straight after making misleading claims that key schemes aimed at helping those living in fuel poverty were being cut by the UK Government.

    Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

    "Nobody should have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families. That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats remain committed to ending fuel poverty by 2016.

    "In my own constituency of Orkney, levels of fuel poverty are higher than almost anywhere else in the country. I need no persuading, therefore, of the importance of redoubling our efforts to combat this scourge as a matter of urgency.

    "Making progress, however, will require both of Scotland's governments to work hand in hand. What it does not need is SNP Ministers yet again blaming everything on Westminster while claiming everything would be solved with independence.

    "Margaret Burgess' claims about UK cuts for energy efficiency measures are simply not true. Indeed, it shows either a determination to scaremonger or a lack of understanding about how these programmes work. Neither does those living in fuel poverty any favours at all.

    "The fight against fuel poverty has enjoyed cross-party support to date, and those in fuel poor households deserve better than SNP scapegoating."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the news that the Alison McInnes MSPAlison McInnes MSPScottish Government has finally listened to the party's concerns over plans to scrap corroboration before a full review had taken place.

    The announcement today came after consistent pressure on the SNP Government from the Scottish Liberal Democrats to delay Stage Two deliberations until after Lord Bonomy published his findings on any potential safeguards.

    Commenting on today's concession, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

    "Once Kenny MacAskill actually conceded that other safeguards would be required then the only sensible way forward was to await the outcome of Lord Bonomy's work. Kenny Macaskill's obstinacy on this has risked bringing parliament into disrepute, so I welcome his change of heart. This is a victory for common sense. People will breathe a sigh of relief today having watched the justice secretary step back from the brink. Parliament should never be asked to pass legislation before it has considered all the implications.

    "Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only party to have consistently opposed the Scottish Government's ill-thought-through plans to scrap corroboration. Kenny MacAskill's attempts to push this onto the statute book only compounded those concerns.

    "Lord Bonomy's group must now be allowed to conduct its review completely unfettered, after which we can return to this debate far better informed."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume today warned that the clock is tickingJim HumeJim Hume for SNP Ministers to give farmers the information they need on the future of Scottish agricultural payments ahead of a key EU deadline.

    Speaking after the appearance of the Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP at the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Hume said the powers SNP Ministers have to create a Scottish Common Agricultural Policy come with real responsibilities.

    During the meeting, the Secretary of State underlined the consequences of missing key deadlines and falling foul of EU rules, pointing to the substantial fines imposed on England following previous reforms.

    Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:

    "UK Ministers helped ensure that Scottish Ministers have the power take the big decisions over how we support our agricultural sector. But power comes with responsibilities. Richard Lochhead needs to give our farmers the answers they need on the CAP to allow the industry to plan for the future.

    "Scotland is now falling behind the rest of the UK on CAP implementation. The deadline for announcing details of the new Scottish payments system is fast approaching and the clock is ticking.

    "If we miss the boat on EU deadlines this would cause fundamental problems for farmers who are already facing real uncertainty."

  • Article: Apr 22, 2014

    The power outage at Knocknagael substation that led to a power Liam McArthurLiam McArthur'blackout' across much of the Highlands & Islands last week was discussed in the Scottish Parliament earlier this afternoon.

    The Finance Secretary, John Swinney came to the Chamber to answer questions from MSPs from across the region, concerned at what had happened and the impact on their constituents.

    Orkney's MSP Liam McArthur took part in the exchanges at Topical Questions, and commented afterwards:

    "The Finance Secretary accepted that delays in restoring power to customers in Orkney took longer than elsewhere. He insisted, however, that lessons had been learned and that steps were being taken to avoid any repeat of such problems in the future.

    "It was also helpful to understand the safeguards in place to help meet the needs of more vulnerable members of communities across the Highlands & Islands. While blackouts can cause inconvenience for many, they can present real risks to the elderly and infirm. Mr Swinney was able to reassure MSPs that SSE had worked closely with the emergency services, as well as those involved in health and social care, to minimise any such risks.

    "While preventing all future blackouts may be impossible, it is important that systems are made as resilient as possible and that response procedures are improved where appropriate. In that sense, Mr Swinney's comments to parliament this afternoon offer some hope that this is happening".

  • Article: Apr 22, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson and MSP for the NorthAlison McInnesAlison McInnes East Alison McInnes has today said a petition put to a Holyrood committee shows the extent to which people feel let down by the SNP's police and fire centralisation plans.

    A former police control room worker, and an Inverness resident put forward a petition to the Public Petition's Committee calling for a review of a decision to close police and fire control rooms north of Dundee. The petition will now be considered by the Justice Committee and the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, of which Ms McInnes is a member.

    Commenting on the petition, Ms McInnes said:

    "This petition shows the clear extent to which people in the North East and Highlands and Islands feel let down by the closures caused by the SNP's centralisation plans. Scottish Liberal Democrats share concerns that the closure of police and fire control rooms, and frontline police counters, represents a damaging loss of local knowledge.

    "From Aberdeen and Montrose to Durness and Portree, decades of local policing is being replaced by a one-size-fits-all faceless organisation. As a member of the justice committee I will be doing my utmost to ensure the justice secretary pays heed to these local voices."

  • Article: Apr 21, 2014

    North East Liberal Democrat politicians are calling on the Scottish Government to stop dithering and to get shovels in the ground to build a much-needed flyover on the A90 at Laurencekirk.

    Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, met NorthSir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith East MSP Alison McInnes and councillors David May and Peter Bellarby at the blackspot.

    The campaign for a flyover - or an underpass - has met resistance from the Scottish Government for years. On Thursday campaigners will be taken their protest outside the Scottish Parliament to call on MSPs to back them.

    Sir Robert commented: "The North East is the powerhouse of Scotland's economy, yet the Scottish Government has failed to invest in key transport projects such as this junction.

    "For many years now the local community have made the case for a safer junction. The fact that the current junction needs a 50mph limit goes to show that it is no longer suitable. Meanwhile the Scottish Government is investing in a new rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is time they stopped neglecting the North East."

    Mrs McInnes said: "The Transport Minister is on record stating that aAlison McInnes MSPAlison McInnes MSP grade separated junction will have to be funded by developers. But a grade separated junction is needed now to address the existing safety issues. Although the 50mph zone has reduced the risk, there still are drivers who do not heed or see the warning signs and drive at 70mph - or more.

    "Developers should only have to fund new junctions when their development is the cause of extra traffic which necessitates a flyover or underpass.

    "The Scottish Government should accept its responsibilities and commit to a flyover or underpass now. This is not some airy-fairy political argument. It is about people's lives."

  • Article: Apr 21, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today said the best way toGeorge LyonGeorge Lyon protect the special treatment Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family.

    Mr Lyon was speaking following reports that a new paper from the European Movement group suggested the SNP government should consider delaying the date of Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote because of potential difficulties during talks at the EU.

    The report warns that the 18 month period set out by the SNP would be vulnerable to delaying tactics from other member states. The EU membership terms for an independent Scotland would have to be signed off by every one of the other EU member states.

    Recent accession negotiations for new EU states have taken between 8 and 14 years.

    Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland benefits at the EU from things like a share of the big UK budget rebate, key opt-outs on the Euro and control over our borders. People would not want to see this special treatment frittered away as the cost of securing a quick settlement in Brussels in the event of a yes vote.

    "The best way to protect the positive benefits Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family. The fact is that in the event of a yes vote Scotland would face the prospect of rejoining the EU on worse terms than we enjoy at present.

    "The European Movement have no particular referendum axe to grind and they are simply restating what many experts have already told us: that the SNP's independence timetable in the event of a vote to leave the UK is not realistic."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has welcomed aWillie RennieWillie Rennie survey published by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce today showing almost all key performance measures have returned to 2007 pre-recession levels.

    The survey showed business confidence increased further on the year.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland is sharing in the economic recovery that has taken hold.

    "Businesses are driving the recovery which is why it is so important they are getting the backing they need from Ministers. With a big national insurance cut and support to boost exports, Liberal Democrats in government are helping firms grow and create more jobs. 16,000 more Scots have found work in the last 3 months alone.

    "I want Scottish businesses to be able to look to the future with confidence and this survey is full of positive news."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has saidJim HumeJim Hume that NHS Scotland and Scotland's health boards should move swiftly to consider action after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde removed all plastic bin bags from all of its mental health wards following two suicides.

    A report today revealed that the board was instructed by the Health and Safety Executive to remove polythene bin bags following reviews into two separate tragedies.

    Mr Hume said:

    "Whilst we will not comment on these specific and tragic individual cases, the recommendation by HSE to remove all polythene bin bags from mental health wards in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has clear implications for all health boards in Scotland. Our universal health service means that all mental health patients and their families should expect the same level of care regardless of where they are being treated.

    "In light of this recommendation ordered by the HSE, NHS Scotland must now move swiftly to consider whether this is an appropriate measure to adopt across Scotland's health boards. I know that NHS boards, responsible for managing their own procedures, will want to work quickly with all relevant partners to ensure any lessons are learnt.

    "One in four adults will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. We need to ensure that any issue around mental health care is resolved just as quickly as any other problem on our health boards."