By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today challenged the First Minister over a lack of housing and transport for Ukrainian refugees who have recently settled in Scotland.
During this afternoon’s First Minister’s Questions, Mr Cole-Hamilton asked Nicola Sturgeon if she would reissue a fresh call for homes and if she would extend free bus travel to all refugees.
Responding to these questions, the First Minister did not say that she would make either a fresh call for homes or that she would extend free bus travel to all refugees.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions today, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “The First Minister boasting about numbers will be cold comfort to those who have been living out of suitcases since February, or are coming to the end of a placement with no idea what happens next. This isn’t a new life, this is a new Limbo (a place some religions believe is between Heaven and Hell).
“And the mobilisations in Russia, and the pretend referendums, mean no chance of a quick return for our Ukrainian guests.
“A memo leaked to The (Glasgow) Herald from the government’s own rapid rehousing group has described confusion and increasing desperation. This Government has written goodwill cheques that refugees can’t cash.
“It closed the scheme in July, but still hasn’t acted on my call to reissue the appeal for homes.
“If it’s easier to travel, it’s easier to find homes and jobs. So, can I also ask the First Minister, alongside that call for homes, if she will now extend free bus travel to all refugees?