By Democrat reporter
Speaking as voting opens in the SNP leadership race, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has accused all three candidates of being “starved of solutions,” and called on them to commit to measures for tackling the cost of living, the NHS crisis and the climate emergency.
Specifically, Scottish Liberal Democrats are challenging the candidates to:
1. Withdraw the National Care Service Bill, putting money into frontline services and staff instead of a billion-pound bureaucracy and ministerial takeover of social care.
2. Replace the failing NHS Recovery Plan which has only delivered spiralling waits and vacancies, and also launch an urgent inquiry into the hundreds of deaths connected to the emergency care crisis, a burnout prevention strategy and a health and social care staff assembly.
3. Scrap national testing of children as young as four and five and instead focus on boosting in-class support and teachers’ pay and conditions.
4. Establish a public inquiry into the ferries fiasco, to get islanders the answers they deserve about why they and their businesses have been left without lifeline ferries after horrendous delays and costs, and helping create a pipeline of work for the future.
5. Launch an emergency nationwide insulation programme to bring down bills, create jobs and put a stop to Scotland missing its climate change targets.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, pictured right, said: “This leadership race has seen the three candidates knocking chunks out of each other, while their supporters bicker over whether the process is being rigged by SNP HQ. It’s totally embarrassing.
“All three leadership candidates are utterly starved of solutions for tackling the issues that matter. They are obsessed with taking a wrecking ball to the UK, all while neglecting the spiralling cost of living, the NHS crisis and the climate emergency.
“Division and toxicity have trashed our politics for far too long. Rather than squabble over independence, all three candidates should commit to the solutions my party and I are outlining today. These measures will bring new hope to Scotland and make tangible differences to people all across the country.
“The SNP are tired, divided and taking Scots for granted. It’s why they are hemorrhaging fair minded, reasonable voters who aren’t fussed about the constitution, like we saw in our by-election win last week. New hope is on the way and Scottish Liberal Democrats will be part of what’s next.”
Ferry picture by Bill Heaney