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Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton today said that wholesale budget cuts will hurt frontline NHS services following reports that health boards are currently axing £400m from budgets.
An investigation by the Times newspaper revealed health board executives have said that they are being asked to make savings of a magnitude that has not been achieved in the past. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are currently consulting on plans for £69 million of savings that could see hospitals and maternity units closed.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today said new figures revealing that Scotland has lost 1000 Fire Service staff since the SNP's centralisation of the service shows the scale of the impact the changes have had on the emergency services.
Staffing figures released today by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) revealed a drop of around 1000 staff since the merger of local services. There are now around 700 fewer wholetime and retained firefighters than there were in 2013. The number of support and control staff has fallen by around 300 and the number of volunteers has dropped by almost 20%.
Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP today urged the Scottish Government to give farmers in Scotland the stability they need.
Mr Rumbles was speaking as the NFUS wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay MSP calling on him to guarantee that money received as a result of agriculture spending in other parts of the UK will go to farmers in Scotland.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has urged that all funds received from the UK Government's sugar tax should be used to encourage an active lifestyle.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"The proceeds of the sugar tax need to be channelled into an initiative to increase participation in sport and physical activity.
"The Scottish Government needs to take action and not follow in the footsteps of the Conservatives who seem to care more about big business than the well being of our children. The UK Government's wider plan is a woeful attempt to tackle obesity across the country.
Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has called on the SNP to deliver on their broadband commitment after an official report by Audit Scotland on superfast broadband today described targets to reach rural areas as 'challenging'.
The Scottish Government Minister responsible confirmed as much and admitted that more could be done 'at a Scotland level to extend coverage, particularly to rural areas'.
Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Tavish Scott MSP today criticised the Scottish Government on its failure to issue new guidance on the Government's curriculum before pupils returned to school.
Cabinet Secretary for education, John Swinney had promised to provide teachers with clear guidance on the curriculum before pupils returned to school this week to help close the attainment gap between students from richer and poorer backgrounds. It was reported today that no such guidance has been issued.
Commenting, Mr Scott said:
Commenting as the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) approved a consultation on plans that would see maternity units and other NHS facilities shut their doors, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"The health board can consult all they want but it is not hard to imagine the sort of response that they will get to plans that would see doors shut at hospitals and maternity units across Greater Glasgow. We have already seen protests over these savings plans.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP has said that the Scottish Government are letting down Police Officers and failing communities across Scotland in response to reports that police officers are being actively told not to investigate drug dealers to avoid over time.
Calum Steele from the SPF took to social media to show an email from a police officer who was told 'not to be proactive and investigate drug dealers because it could cause overtime but rather just do the work we are given.'
Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to adopt a radical new approach to drug misuse and reverse its 20% cut to support services, after new figures showed drug-related deaths increased to their highest ever level in 2015.
National statistics published today revealed that there were 706 drug-related deaths in 2015 - 15% more than in 2014.
Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Cllr Carolyn Caddick today said that there is no room for complacency on job figures as new statistics revealed that Scotland's employment rate is still lower than the UK average despite an increase in the number of people in work.
Commenting, Cllr Caddick said: