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Recent updates

  • Article: Jul 26, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today called for an urgent review of the regulation of Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) after it was revealed the controversial business model was at the heart of a Ukrainian probe into organised crime arm exports.

    These revelations follow reports that SLPs are being marketed as tax avoidance vehicles in Eastern Europe. SLPs, which were first established in a century-old element of Scots company law, are not required to register for tax or provide full financial reports in Scotland.

  • Article: Jul 26, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said Ministers must work with health boards to boost early cancer detection rates as new figures revealed a flagship target has been missed.

    In 2012, the Scottish Government announced a four year Detect Cancer Early plan with a target to increase the proportion of people diagnosed with stage 1 breast, colorectal and lung cancer by 25% by 2015, compared to the 2010-11 baseline.

  • Article: Jul 26, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned Ministers need to get a grip on the integration of health and social care services after last month saw an increase in the number of patients kept in hospital after they were clinically ready to be discharged.

    Delayed discharge statistics showed that in June 2016, 457 patients were kept in hospital more than two weeks longer than necessary. 175 patients were kept in hospital more than six weeks after there was no clinical need for them to remain as inpatients.

  • Article: Jul 25, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles today warned the First Minister against setting up EU strawmen to pave the way for a second referendum on independence for Scotland.

    Speaking as the First Minister made a speech on Scotland and the EU in Edinburgh, Mr Rumbles said that Nicola Sturgeon must honour her commitment to work in good faith with people across the UK to get the best deal for Scotland and the rest of the country.

  • Article: Jul 25, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today said Scotland's new Surveillance Commissioner must protect the freedom of journalists and others who have had their communications data accessed unlawfully.

    Mr McArthur was speaking after answers to Lib Dem parliamentary questions revealed that senior judge Lord Bracadale has been appointed as as the Surveillance Commissioner for Scotland.

  • Article: Jul 25, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have today called on councils to ensure that homophobic bullying is recorded accurately as new figures showed nearly half of local authorities do not hold records on incidents of homophobia in schools.

    Freedom of Information requests by the Liberal Democrats found that 14 of the councils responding do not record information on homophobic, transphobic or bi-phobic incidents or were unable to provide data on request.

  • Suzanne Fletcher, Chair of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary (LD4SOS)
    Article: Jul 22, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government for slipping out an announcement that Cedars pre-departure accommodation is to close.

    It raises the prospect of children once again being held in immigration detention centres - a practice ended by the Liberal Democrats in Government.

    Liberal Democrats in Coalition established the centre to end the detention of children, and the Conservatives have used the final day of the Parliamentary session to reverse the move.

    Prior to 2010, thousands of children were being detained in prison-like conditions. During Labour's last 5 years in government, over 7,000 innocent children were held in adult detention centres, sometimes for weeks and months at a time.

    The establishment of the centre was driven by Sarah Teather and Nick Clegg and following the news of its closure the Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary have set out 10 questions the government must answer.

    Aside from scrapping the centre the Conservatives have failed to offer any assurances on what will replace it, the emotional support that vulnerable children will be given or any preparations that will be made for them ahead of their return to a country that many of them may not even remember.

    Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Alistair Carmichael said:

    "Ending the detention of children for immigration purposes was one of the first priorities of Liberal Democrats in government. It is the mark of our society how we treat the most vulnerable and it is disgusting that the Conservatives are now rolling back such an important measure.

    "It is outrageous they slipped out this announcement on the last day of Parliamentary business, and they must now set out what exactly is going to happen to children in the future. We cannot have a return to the days of children being locked up in immigration detention centres, as happened under Labour. The Government has a lot of questions that remained unanswered."

    Chair of Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary, Suzanne Fletcher, who has visited Cedars, and been part of an Independent Monitoring Board until the change of Government last year said:

    "Cedars provided an oasis of care and calm at a very traumatic time for those families with children who very sadly were being sent against their will back to their country of origin. , and our Government should be ashamed of such a backward step."

  • A pair of wedding rings (Jeff Belmonte. Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.)
    Article: Jul 22, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have branded the Conservative's Flagship Married Couples Tax Allowance policy a 'pathetic failure' after figures revealed that only a fraction of eligible couples had bothered claiming the allowance.

    Only 330,000 people have taken advantage of the allowance, equivalent to 8% of those eligible.

  • Child in prison cell mental health
    Article: Jul 21, 2016

    Alistair Carmichael has demanded the government rule out the prospect of children being kept in prison cells.

    This follows the government slipping out an announcement of the closure of the Cedars facility, which supports families who are being returned overseas by the Home Office. Ending child detention was a major Liberal Democrat achievement in the coalition government. The facilities were described as "exceptional" and their closure has also been attacked by Barnardo's.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2016

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned that cuts to drug and alcohol services could leave people stranded as new figures revealed that more than 3000 children were treated for drug or alcohol misuse in the last two years.

    The statistics, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, showed that 3336 children were admitted to emergency departments or to hospital in 2014-15 and 2015-16 as a result of drug and alcohol misuse.