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Recent News from Dundee Lib Dems, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the UK Liberal Democrats

  • Article: Aug 25, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable is calling on business, unions and individuals to help identify and close potential loopholes in plans to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

    Exclusivity clauses prevent workers on zero hours contracts from taking work elsewhere even when their employer provides no work.

  • Article: Aug 24, 2014

    Companies will be forced to publish their highest earners pay under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans.

    In a bid to encourage fairer wages, businesses with more than 250 employees will be required to release pay details of their top earner. Under manifesto proposals companies will also publish their median pay and consult employees on future executive salaries.

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    Article: Aug 22, 2014

    A Liberal Democrat government would allow football clubs in the top divisions to introduce safe standing areas into their grounds.

    Under manifesto plans announced today, football clubs would be allowed to work with their supporters to introduce standing areas.

    Safe standing already operates in domestic leagues across Europe, including Germany, Austria and Sweden.

  • Article: Aug 21, 2014

    A Liberal Democrat government would introduce a package of measures supporting innovation in UK businesses, it has been announced today.

    The manifesto plans include ringfencing the science research budget and introducing a green innovation arm to the British Business Bank.

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    The plans also provide further support for the 'Catapult' programme, which bridges the gap between universities, research institutions and business through £100m of funding over the next Parliament.

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes has todayAlison McInnesAlison McInnes warned that an extraordinary lack of detail in the recording of police stop and searches acts as a barrier to ensuring racial equality is upheld by Scotland's national police.

    The warning comes after the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) published a report today which said that the unreliability of data recording means that it is impossible to rule out racial profiling.

    The report highlights that some communities in the west of Scotland are experiencing disproportionately high levels of stop and search. In South Ayrshire black communities face a stop and search rate of 6,403 per 10,000 population, compared to the national average of 1,206 per 10,000.

    Commenting, Ms McInnes said:

    "This report from CRER shows that an extraordinary lack of detail in the recording of police stop and searches acts as a barrier to ensuring racial equality in the activities of Scotland's national police.

    "Time and time again confusion over recording simple data throws up a myriad of wider problems for Scotland's national force. The disproportionate number of searches carried out on some communities in Scotland and the inability of CRER to rule out racial profiling necessitates swift action from Police Scotland.

    "The prolific use of stop and search across Scotland has already raised alarm bells because it is proportionately far higher than that of the Met or NYPD. If Police Scotland is to salvage its credibility on the use of this tactic then it must proactively seek to improve recording methods so that we can rule out racial profiling.

    "It remains the case that only the Parliament can protect our fundamental civil liberties through ensuring that stop and searches always have a sound legal basis. In the face of Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's complacency this is something I will be pushing for."

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, SirSir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith Robert Smith, has said that new concerns over Alex Salmond's oil predictions raised by Sir Ian Wood warrant a serious response.

    Sir Ian Wood, former chair of the Wood group and author of a major review into the UKCS, today warned that Alex Salmond's predictions are up to 60 percent to high. Sir Ian Wood also said that a series of factors meant he concluded that "an independent Scotland will lose out badly on our energy economics."

    Commenting, Mr Smith said:

    "Whilst I'm sure many nationalists will be disappointed to hear that Sir Ian Wood does not support their independence beliefs, few will question his knowledge and success within the oil and gas industry. Indeed, it is his decades of experience at the heart of the industry which has led him to conclude that Scotland's energy sector is better served as part of the wider UK family.

    "Sir Ian Wood's comments will not make for easy reading for Alex Salmond. With only weeks until the vote, Alex Salmond's questionable oil assertions have been brought under the magnifying glass by Sir Ian Wood's credible experience. As a voice listened to by many in the industry, his concerns warrant a serious response.

    "Oil revenues would represent around one fifth of an independent Scotland's tax take, but the broad shoulders of the UK means we can better weather the future storms of a volatile and ultimately finite resource. Remaining part of the UK gives Scotland more opportunities to reinvest in Scotland's changing energy industry and to maintain its position as a world leader for oil and gas expertise."

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has called on AlexWillie RennieWillie Rennie Salmond to break his silence and spell out his currency plan B after a second advisor on his Fiscal Commission spoke about a transition arrangement on currency.

    In an interview with Bloomberg published today, Fiscal Commission member and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz said that they would wish to see a stable transition agreement but did not say to what. The comments follow those of chief currency advisor Crawford Beveridge, who made a series of new positions yesterday evening.

    Earlier today Mr Rennie invited the First Minister to come to the Scottish Parliament to give an explanation for the latest chaos to engulf his currency plan. He refused.

    Speaking following Alex Salmond's refusal to make a statement and on the further chaos caused by Joseph Stiglitz remarks, Mr Rennie said:

    "On Tuesday, the head of the First Minister's own fiscal commission hung him out to dry on the currency union, accepting that it was entirely a decision for the rest of the UK whether to sign up or not.

    "On Wednesday, another member of the commission has spoken of proposals for the 'transition' of the currency. This all begs the fundamental question about what the currency is in transition to.

    "Alex Salmond is growing further apart from his own currency advisors. They both now seem to be saying that the currency might change after independence in as little as six months. Thursday is the final sitting of the Scottish Parliament before the referendum.

    "Alex Salmond must break his silence and give voters the clarity they deserve. The parliament deserves no less than this basic respect.

    "This currency fiasco matters. With only four weeks to go people deserve to know basic facts like what currency they would expect to be paid in, save with and spend under Alex Salmond's independence plans."

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Health spokesman Jim Hume MSP today accusedJim HumeJim Hume the nationalist government of hypocrisy after it was revealed that the Health Secretary contacted all Scottish NHS staff regarding independence.

    His comments came as the First Minister and other senior nationalists demanded an apology from the UK Department for Work and Pensions after officials wrote to staff regarding the referendum.

    The Health Secretary's letter to NHS staff stated "independence will enable a positive and inclusive approach to negotiating public sector workers' pension arrangements."

    Commenting on the letter, Mr Hume said:

    "As senior nationalists took to the airwaves to express mock outrage over UK government guidance to civil servants over referendum purdah rules, the Health Secretary was contacting NHS Scotland staff extolling the virtues of his independence plans.

    "This is further evidence that nationalists will say anything to anyone to try and increase support for independence. They have turned hypocrisy into an art form."

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