On the day the Scottish Parliament debated Stage 1 of its budget, Liberal Democrat Finance spokesperson Jeremy Purvis MSP emphasised that Liberal Democrats are focusing on the need to support Scotland’s colleges.
Commenting, Mr Purvis said, “We have met twice with the Scottish Government and are engaging constructively with practical measures to support the economy and to tackle the pressures on skills and colleges.
“As it stands, the SNP budget cuts are too severe for colleges, threatening places and bursaries.
“The Scottish Government should be focused on boosting economic recovery by investing in further education.
“That’s why as part of our budget negotiations, Liberal Democrats have pressed the Scottish Government to provide additional places for young people desperate to gain skills for work. We have also pressed the case strongly to restore funding for college bursaries that help secure opportunities and support for some of the poorest learners in Scotland.
“I am pleased that this joint approach from Liberal Democrats and the NUS is gaining considerable backing and I hope very much that the Scottish Government will respond positively to what is a very clear case.”
Commenting, Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland said, “I thank the Scottish Liberal Democrats for making this a negotiating issue in the forthcoming budget vote. They have recognised that this is a cut to an already wholly inadequate fund that has failed some of the poorest students for nearly three years now.
“With only weeks before the vote on the budget, thousands of students, staff, friends and family have been emailing their MSPs through http://www.budgetforbursaries.com/. I’m sure the Parliament will recognise that it makes no sense to price those out of further education who have the most to gain.”
I spoke on Wave 102 news about Liberal Democrat support for colleges, student places and bursaries today and you can hear this by clicking play below: