Daily roundup: Scottish Liberal Democrats, 15 April

libdem1Speaking in Argyll and Bute, Scottish Liberal Democrat Campaign Chair George Lyon slammed the SNP for failing to provide islanders across Scotland with relief from high ferry fares.

It was confirmed last month that a Scottish Government pilot scheme that cut fare prices significantly in the Western Isles would be extended into the next Parliament.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have committed to maintaining investment in essential lifeline transport services for island communities.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

“Although the extension of the Road Equivalent Tariff scheme was certainly good news for the Western Isles, it offers nothing for people in Orkney, Argyll and Bute or other island communities who will not benefit. This is an electoral bribe from a party desperate to hang on to an island seat.

“The fact is that the Scottish Government needs to be working to bring fares down for all islanders, not simply those areas that voted SNP at the last election. Whether it is ferries or planes, the basic principle is simple. Transport to and from the Scottish islands needs to be affordable if these communities are to thrive.

“The Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting essential lifeline services across the Highlands and Islands and will ensure that people in areas like Argyll and Bute receive the help they need, irrespective of how they choose to vote on polling day.”

Commenting as the SNP publish their 84/94 manifesto achievement document, George Lyon also accused the SNP of having failed Scotland’s voters.

“They have not dumped student debt, they dropped the first time buyers grant, they let teachers down and they shelved the independence referendum, all promised in their 2007 campaign. What kind of record is that?” Mr Lyon said.

“This list is a joke. They have even included policies not even started under their Government. It’s shameful that they are trying to take credit for ideas and polices that aren’t even their own. The Scottish public won’t trust the SNP again. Scottish voters want a party who have real solutions for creating jobs, keeping services local and restoring excellence to education.

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“It is Scottish Liberal Democrats who have those solutions. We have published a costed manifesto that has the right solutions for Scotland and it is Liberal Democrats who have the courage to deliver them.”

Turning his attention to Labour’s plans for exports, Mr Lyon said:

“The Labour party are full of grandiose ideas that have absolutely no substance to back them up. The Labour party have come forward with no plan on how they will achieve their export targets.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are different. We have real solutions for Scotland.

“We have published a detailed export action plan for increasing exports in Scotland which includes setting an ambitious target to grow the value of Scottish exports by 50 per cent by 2020.We are the only party who has pledged to double the number of companies engaged in exports.

“These are solutions that Scottish businesses need and we are the party to deliver them.”