Campaigners against domestic abuse at a meeting in West Dunbartonshire.
By Democrat reporter
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today stressed the need to “speedily deliver” the 1140 hours childcare policy in order to support a strong economic recovery from Covid, after the First Minister was forced to correct Parliament’s official report relating to exchanges on progress towards the flagship childcare promise at Holyrood last week.
Willie Rennie commented: “The First Minister’s corrections are rather embarrassing. She clearly doesn’t have a grip on what’s going on with the childcare roll-out across the country, so how are parents expected to?
“The First Minister’s rather crude attempt to blame councils run by opposition parties for the government’s own failure to deliver the expansion of nursery education quickly has boomeranged and clunked her on the head.
“If she spent more time getting people to agree to accelerate the childcare expansion rather than warping the facts to meet her punchlines this problem would be sorted sooner.
“The Scottish Government told councils they could spend these funds elsewhere and are now trying to blame them for doing exactly that. It would have been more honest to give the councils the funds they need to cope with the pandemic instead of forcing them to undermine the expansion of nursery education.
“This saga brings into sharp focus the need to speedily deliver this policy as there is no strong economic recover without a childcare recovery.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP, pictured left, has asked Ministers to ensure sufficient resources are in place to swiftly support domestic abuse victims and for them to be given new housing rights, after new statistics revealed 2019-20 saw the highest number of domestic abuse charges for the last five years.
A total of 30,718 charges were reported in relation to domestic abuse in 2019-20 with West Dunbartonshire being one of the worst places in the country for this.
Liam McArthur commented:“The level of domestic abuse in Scotland is extremely concerning.
“These statistics cast a light on the scale of this problem but we must continue to encourage people to come forward to the police if relationships deteriorate and become abusive or controlling.
“Lockdown has been a very frightening period for people living with abusive partners or family members.
“The Scottish Government must ensure that support services are well-resourced enough to support victims at short notice wherever these horrific incidents occur.
“The last thing victims need is to get inundated with paperwork to prove they are homeless or to be left to fend for themselves in finding a new place. That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for new rights so that abusers can be the ones who are moved out of the home, not the victim.
“These are the types of changes that can help give people the confidence they need to leave physically abusive, controlling and coercive relationships.”