Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 12:42 UK

Scottish Lib Dems manifesto claims 'fairer policies'

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Tavish Scott says: "The Lib Dems want to make sure this is a fairness agenda for the whole of the UK."

The Liberal Democrats have claimed that a vote for them on 6 May would be a vote for a "fairer Scotland".

The statement came as the party north of the border launched its manifesto on a boat which set sail from Leith Docks.

The party believes it has policies which will result in a fairer tax system, a fairer start for every child and cleaner politics.

The Lib Dems said voters were tired of being told only two main UK parties could win the general election.

At its manifesto launch, Scottish leader Tavish Scott, and Scottish campaign manager Alistair Carmichael, claimed that seats north of the border would switch to them.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ELECTION

They said Scotland had the highest number of "wasted" votes in the UK, under a system which encouraged "seats for life".

During the campaign the Lib Dems have been focusing on proposals for tax reforms - which would see the income tax threshold increased to £10,000 - their policies for youngsters and plans to clean up politics.

The manifesto has proposed getting rid of the Barnett formula, the population-based calculation under which Scotland gets its share of Treasury funding.

The Lib Dems want to replace it with a needs-based formula and get rid of what they have said is an out-dated 30-year-old method.

Mr Scott said a Lib Dem win would translate to £240m extra in a one-year emergency budget.

Tavish Scott and Alistair Carmichael
The Scottish Lib Dems say they would achieve a "fairer Scotland"

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He explained that the money would be used for a "green stimulus" package for 16,000 new jobs, grants and loans to bring 25,000 empty homes back into use and a £400 cashback scheme to upgrade households.

In addition, a share of £400m would be ploughed into shipyards, such as Leith, Nigg, Aberdeen and Campbeltown, to build offshore wind turbines and marine technology.

Cash would also allow Holyrood to pay for devolved areas such as education. The party wants to give head teachers the ability to offer one-to-one tuition and catch-up classes for pupils that need it.

Mr Carmichael insisted the party's Scottish manifesto had been fully costed and had been signed off by his party's treasury spokesman Vince Cable.

He said the party's manifesto "highlights the opportunities there are for Scotland with a Liberal Democrat government at Westminster".

He also claimed the SNP were "out of play" and "irrelevant" in the race to catch Labour and the Tories at Westminster.

Mr Carmichael added "I don't particularly want a hung parliament. If the people give us a hung parliament then I'll do my best to honour the verdict to make it work.

"I want a Liberal Democrat government and for the first time in my adult political life that is an achievable prospect.

"I think that's tremendously empowering because the people in this election have taken control of the agenda away from the political parties, away from Labour and Conservative, and said, 'no, actually, we're the ones who will call the shots'."



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