Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Willie Rennie MSP Leader of the Scottish Liberal DemocratsWelcome to our website. The Liberal Democrats are now the only party that can deliver social justice. We are the only choice for anyone who wants a stronger economy in a fairer society enabling everyone in the United Kingdom to get on in life.

We are putting money back in the pockets of ordinary families. We are building a stable, green economy for each and every one of us. We will continue to change politics so that every person in the United Kingdom counts.

"You can find out more, including how to keep in touch or join the Liberal Democrats, on this site."

Better TogetherHelp out with the Better Together campaign.


Recent updates

  • 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."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    I am confident that Lib Dems will be united in welcoming today's news that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers. The proposed register would introduce tougher regulations on the arms trade and is yet another historic victory for the Lib Dems in government.

    Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will have to appear on a public registry, with possible requirements to attend training courses and suitability assessments.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today encouraged Scots toGeorge Lyon MEPGeorge Lyon MEP join a campaign calling on the EU to change tax rules and allow mountain and lowland rescue services to be made exempt from VAT.

    Commenting as an EU consultation on public interest exemptions from VAT entered its final few days, Mr Lyon said that changing tax regulations for mountain and lowland rescue teams would give these key services a real boost.

    Mr Lyon and fellow Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies met with EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemet earlier this year to discuss this issue.

    Backing the campaign, Jonathon Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, said that axing VAT would have real financial benefits for mountain rescue teams.

    George Lyon MEP said:

    "In 2011 alone a total of 573 incidents were responded to by Scottish mountain rescue teams, and these numbers are increasing every year. Mountain and lowland rescue teams are effectively front line emergency services in many parts of Scotland.

    "These volunteers put their lives on the line and deserve our full support. We know that cutting VAT for mountain and lowland rescue teams would make a real financial difference and I hope as many Scots as possible will back our campaign.

    "The consultation in Brussels is closing soon and this is our last chance to make the case for a change to the rules at the EU. it is important that we send a strong message that axing the VAT is the right thing to do."

    Jonathan Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, added:

    "Mountain Rescue in Scotland is carried out by world class volunteers delivering a service free of charge to people in need of aid in the mountains of Scotland. The majority of our funding comes from private donation and we do receive money from both the UK and Scottish Governments.

    "We are not a political organisation and support any move toward reducing costs or increasing income for Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams. In the case of VAT we would like to thank all the MPs and MEPs who are involved in the campaign which if successful would undoubtedly benefit volunteer teams financially."

    People wishing to join the campaign can sign up here.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has welcomed news that South WestJim HumeJim Hume Scotland is set to benefit by nearly £40 million from a new scheme to help young people into work.

    The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) will provide £170 million of UK government funding to help young people aged 15-24 find work.

    This investment will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.

    Southwest Scotland, one of five areas selected to receive support, is in line to benefit by £38.6 million.

    Commenting, Jim Hume said:

    "More people are in work across the country than ever before but there is always more that can be done. Liberal Democrats are helping build a stronger Scottish economy in government and any initiative to get more people into work is welcome.

    "We know that long spells of unemployment at the start of a young persons' career can be damaging for years down the line. This new investment will make a real difference to young people in the south of Scotland and give them the best possible start to their working life.

    "With UK spending being matched by EU investment this new initiative is another reason why Liberal Democrats are working to keep Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said today's employment figures demonstrate the importance of sharing economic progress across the UK.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "Liberal Democrats in the UK government are building a stronger economyWillie RennieWillie Rennie and today we can see what that means for people in Scotland. 16,000 more Scots are in work, business confidence is increasing and positive growth continues for the Scottish economy as part of the UK. This is the positive economic progress which enables us to build a fairer society.

    "Sharing across the UK's broad shoulders, Liberal Democrats have delivered lower taxes, higher pensions, new jobs and more childcare. But figures showing a quarterly rise in the number of people out of work shows that we cannot become complacent. The Scottish Government must work closely with the UK Government to unlock further opportunities for jobs and growth for Scotland as part of the UK."

    Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said:

    "It is encouraging to see 16,000 more Scots move into work and theAlistair CarmichaelAlistair Carmichael number claiming jobseekers allowance fall for the seventeenth straight month. There are now 68,000 more people in work and around 32,000 fewer people claiming jobseekers allowance than one year ago. It is also very encouraging to see the number of women in work continuing to rise to a near record high.‬

    ‪"With business confidence increasing, inflation falling to a four and half year low and seven consecutive months of positive Scottish economic growth, Scotland is doing well as part of the UK.‬

    ‪"Tax changes the UK Government has introduced this month will make it easier for Scottish businesses to invest, to take on new staff and be even more competitive on a global stage. We have also ensured that every hard working Scot will not pay any income tax on everything they earn up to £10,000. ‬

    "Any rise in unemployment shows that challenges remain. We must ensure that as the economy recovers the benefits are seen in communities across the length and breadth of Scotland.‬"

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    New figures show the rate of unemployment has fallen below 7% for the first time since the recession. The number of people out of work dropped by 77,000 in the last three months, while total employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation.

    There are now more people in work than ever before, with nearly 0.7 million more people in employment since this time last year, showing that the Lib Dem plan to create a million jobs is working.

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    The European Parliament has approved new rules to make big lorries safer for other road users and more fuel-efficient.

    Under changes pushed by Liberal Democrat MEPs, the design of lorry cabs are set to be changed to reduce the number of blind spots under the front widescreen and the side of the vehicle. The new designs would also include safer cab fronts to reduce damage caused by impacts with cyclists and pedestrians. It is thought the proposal could help prevent dozens of fatal accidents each year.

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    Nick Clegg has called for the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war, which identifies exactly what happened in the run-up to the conflict in Iraq.

    The Chilcot report includes about 200 cabinet-level discussions, 25 notes from Tony Blair to George W Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between the former US president and Tony Blair.

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    The former Speech Writer to Tony Blair said that he believes Nick Clegg is making a difference: "By stopping the Tory Right, the Deputy Prime Minister should be applauded by all liberal voters."

    Philip Collins worked as Tony Blair's Chief Speech Writer, responsible for Blair's very last speech as Leader of the Labour Party. In his article published today, he said that without the Lib Dems in Government, tax cuts for the wealthy would have been more generous. He points out that green taxes would be slashed harder, welfare cuts would be more severe, and there would be greater progress towards abolishing human rights legislation.

  • Article: Apr 14, 2014

    With Passover celebrations starting today, Nick Clegg wishes the Jewish Communities, within Britain and around the world, a happy Passover:

    Transcript:

    "I want to wish Jewish Communities, within Britain and around the world, a happy and peaceful Passover.

    This is a time when families and friends gather round the Seder table to remember the struggles of the Jewish people to secure their freedom. Every year, they tell this story to their children so it is never forgotten.

    And what this ancient journey shows us is the enduring power of people to overcome even the greatest of adversity and build a better future together. And, during this celebration, we're reminded of all those people still suffering oppression, because of their religious beliefs, race or creed.

    That cannot be right and Passover is a chance for all of us to commit ourselves again to helping those -- of all faiths and none -- who face persecution around the world.

    It's also an opportunity for us to recognise the contribution Britain's Jewish Communities make to every area of our society

    Thank you and Chag Sameach."