THE Scottish Government is being accused of holding a generation of children to ransom with its approach to early-years care provision, with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie to argue today that the SNP leadership will only improve the system after independence.
“They are demanding nothing short of a ransom from the voters before they release the benefit to our children,” Mr Rennie will tell the Scottish Lib Dem conference in Glasgow.
“They are holding a generation of our children hostage. It’s not right.
“I appeal to the Finance Secretary, John Swinney, to intervene. We have worked together before to produce a Budget. We can do it again this year. He should make the change this year to start a childcare revolution in Scotland, not keep Scotland’s children hostage for his political ends”
Mr Rennie has frequently campaigned for extended childcare and nursery provision, often using First Minister’s Questions to argue his case.
Alex Salmond is not listening to Lib Dem proposals on childcare, he will tell the conference.
“Instead he uses nursery education as bait for the voters. He tells us that Scotland will have the best childcare arrangements on these islands, but only after independence.
“Now, I have heard some say that the SNP have put Scotland on pause with the referendum. They criticise the Government for doing little to ensure as smooth a path as possible to independence. Well I disagree with them. I think it’s worse. They are actively preventing necessary action to help our children.
“Their message to our children is, ‘Only if you give us what we want will you get what you need’.
“Unless you do what we say, you will not be released to achieve your potential.”