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by Staff Reporter
17 June 2024
Scottish Lib Dems put social care at heart of manifesto

Cole-Hamilton launched the Scottish Lib Dem manifesto on Monday | Alamy

Scottish Lib Dems put social care at heart of manifesto

Alex Cole-Hamilton has pledged to “fix the care crisis” as the Scottish Liberal Democrats launch their manifesto for the general election.

Published on Monday, the manifesto commits to a £500m “rescue package” for social care to reduce delayed discharge and relieve pressure on frontline NHS services.

It also says the party would create a minimum wage for care workers, worth £2 more than the current national minimum wage, and increase the carers’ allowance by £1040 a year.

Speaking at the launch in Edinburgh, leader Cole-Hamilton said: “Talk to anyone in the NHS and they will tell you that a major cause of the crisis in our health service is the crisis in social care.

“Paid and unpaid carers do so much heavy lifting but they are being taken for granted and are struggling to make ends meet. They've been in the shadows for far too long.

"I am so proud that the Liberal Democrats have put health and care at the heart of our campaign in this general election.”

The party, which had four Scottish MPs before Westminster was dissolved, will be hoping a revival of its fortunes south of the border will also be reflected in Scotland.

Some of the policies set out in its manifesto, such as on social care, cover devolved issues and are therefore decisions for MSPs not MPs to make.

Other commitments include:

  • Investing in mental health services, including basing counsellors in schools and GPs
  • A new tax on social media companies
  • £170m more for agriculture and renegotiating post-Brexit trade deals to support farmers
  • An emergency upgrade programme to support the move to low-carbon heating and improve energy efficiency
  • A new Environmental Rights Act and an end to sewage “being dumped in our rivers”
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