Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western, Alex Cole-Hamilton has today welcomed additional funding secured by the Scottish Liberal Democrats in this year's Scottish budget.
In negotiations with the Scottish Government, the party secured an additional £1,162,488.10 for the City of Edinburgh council to provide more in-class support to children who need it by topping up the Pupil Equity Fund. This is money paid directly to headteachers to provide additional support to pupils from less well-off backgrounds. This represents a 16% increase on the current year. As well as a major boost of mental health funding, the Liberal Democrats also secured a shift in the position of the Scottish Government on the new Eye Pavilion with clear commitment that specialised eye services in Lothian will be protected.
Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:
"I am delighted that the Scottish Liberal Democrats have secured this extra money to help pupils across Edinburgh. Everyone deserves the best possible start in life and with this money we will provide more in-class support to children who need it. This funding is all the more needed as we’ve seen inequality widening during the pandemic and we must address this with urgency.
“Alongside the additional funds for education, and the vital increased investment for mental health, I am so glad we were able to shift the Government’s position on the future of the Princess Alexandra eye hospital in Edinburgh. Many constituents had been very concerned at proposals to outsource treatment to Livingstone, leaving no treatment offered in the city centre. Whilst the replacement hospital is not yet a guarantee, I look forward to assisting in the discussions between NHS Lothian and the Government on this important project, in the coming months.
"At the forthcoming election Scottish Liberal Democrats will put the recovery first by focusing on the issues that affect people day in, day out. If the people of Edinburgh Western put their trust in me again by re-electing me as your MSP, I promise to stand up for education, jobs and mental health."
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
"People expect parties to work together in the middle of a pandemic. Our focus has been to put recovery first.
"We have highlighted the need for business support, an education bounce back plan, and better mental health services, given the pressure we know that the virus crisis has put on people.
"These proposals show the impact that Liberal Democrat MSPs can make, balancing important national matters with targeted local support for our constituents and putting the recovery first.
"That's what you get with Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs."