Dundee candidate welcomes Council Tax cutting plans

Dundee Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Alison Burns has today welcomed plans by the Scottish Liberal Democrats to make the council tax fairer.

The proposal is to exempt less well off pensioners from the council tax.

A pensioner on an income of less than £10,000 will pay nothing at all in council tax.

LibDem proposals will mean a saving of up to £400 from a typical Band D bill. This compares to a saving of £22 under the SNP’s freeze and a saving of only £200 under the Conservatives.

At least 20,000 single pensioners will benefit from this policy. Many pensioner couples will also be able to qualify.

Alison Burns, candidate in Dundee City West, added, “The SNP and Labour plan to freeze Council Tax for the most wealthy and the Tories plan to cut it for the most wealthy.   The Liberal Democrats on the other hand will target to help the poorest pensioners and remove them from paying any Council Tax.  This will save many pensioners real cash and make a substantial difference to their standard of living.”

 

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Alison Burns selected as Lib Dem candidate for Dundee City West

Alison Burns at Tay Rail Bridge

Liberal Democrats in Dundee have formally adopted well known Dundee lawyer and jazz singer Alison Burns as their parliamentary candidate for the re-named “Dundee City West” parliamentary seat.

Brought up in Downfield,  Alison became one of the first female apprentice engineers at Timex in 1977, before going on to have success as a professional actress working at Dundee Rep and on TV shows for Channel 4 and BBC Scotland.

Her career as a singer also took off and she worked with Danny Wilson, Michael Marra and co-founded the well-known Dundee singing group The Penny Dainties.

Having gained a law degree at the University of Dundee in the 1990s, Alison worked as a solicitor for Thorntons WS in Dundee and Arbroath before moving on to becoming a consultant for a leading London law firm. In 2001 she co-founded a successful music company.

Alison also sits on the board of Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) as an external trustee and is a practising solicitor specialising in Intellectual Property law.

On becoming parliamentary candidate Alison said, “It’s a real honour to have been selected as the LibDem parliamentary candidate for Dundee City West, the city where I was born, grew up in and love.  I am not a career politician but I got involved in politics because I feel passionate about creating a fairer Scotland and a more prosperous and vibrant Dundee.  I am personally meeting with as many local residents as possible in order to act on their concerns and to establish a credible alternative to Labour and the SNP in Dundee.”

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Campaigning in the West End for Fairer Votes

Parliamentary candidates Alison Burns (Dundee City West) and Allan Petrie (Dundee City East) and Lib Dem Councillor Fraser Macpherson, met up with Alison McInnes, Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland, in the West End to show their support for the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign.   They are pictured below in Taylor’s Lane.
Alison Burns said, “At the moment, MPs can be elected with fewer than one vote in three. With fairer votes, MPs would have to aim to get more than 50% of the vote to be sure of winning. This is good for democracy.”
Alison McInnes MSP said, “I am delighted that Dundee Liberal Democrats are campaigning for a YES vote on 5th May. The campaign for Fairer Votes is gathering momentum in Dundee and across Scotland.”
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Petition Against Centralised Emergency Services

On Friday Dundee Liberal Democrats launched a petition outside Tayside Police’s Headquarters inviting the public to support the campaign to stop Scotland’s emergency services being centralised into a Scotland-wide force.

North East Scotland MSP Alison McInnes joined us in launching the petition as we collected signatures around the West End of Dundee .

Many thanks to all those who signed the petition today.

You can read the full story here.

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Campaigning in the West End

Alison Burns at Tay Rail Bridge

Thank you to everyone that came out and campaigned with us in Dundee’s West End over the weekend (especially for all those that were delivering in the rain on Saturday morning).  It was great to meet with so many local residents in order to act on their concerns and to establish a credible alternative to Labour and the SNP in Dundee.

If you’d like to join the campaign team then please email me at alison(at)alisonburns.org.uk

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Lib Dems improve Scottish budget for students and colleges

Yesterday’s Scottish Budget is a major boost for students and colleges.

It has delighted the National Union of Students. Who have said: “The Scottish Liberal Democrats have worked very hard for students on this issue” and “This is great news”.

It will help tackle a crisis faced in Scotland’s colleges from 1st April this year. They can’t afford to wait for a new government. They need action now.

The changes we have negotiated from the Scottish Government will give thousands of students access to bursary support. That will mean they can take up their studies and find ways into work. This is worth £15m.

We have also secured funding for more than a thousand new places directly at colleges. This will help colleges who are facing severe financial pressures. This is worth £8m.

We have also secured funding for additional modern apprentices and for training opportunities that rely indirectly on colleges. Tavish Scott raised the issue of apprenticeships in renewable energy at FMQs in the autumn. This is tackled in the Budget changes we have secured. This is worth £2m

We are also very pleased that we have secured funding for a second year for our idea of a Post Office Diversification Fund. This benefited fifty post offices in the last year and can now benefit more this year. The fund helps post offices introduce new strands of business (such as hot food) by paying for the capital costs of equipment or conversions. It will help them stay open, serving their communities.

Of course, this Budget and the changes we have secured will not solve all of the problems that Scotland faces. Colleges and communities still face enormous challenges.  Much will have to wait until after May. Our plans for government envisage a spending review and budget revisions very quickly after the election. We have already spoken with the Permanent Secretary’s senior officials in order to brief them on our intentions to move rapidly in government.

But the steps we have secured today mean a better Budget for Scotland that would have been the case without the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

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