On the campaign trail in Kirkintilloch

Cathy McInnes, Nicol Stephen and Jo Swinson in Kirkintilloch

Cathy McInnes aims to repeat Jo’s success and win the Strathkelvin & Bearsden seat for the Scottish Liberal Democrats

Nicol Stephen joined Jo and Scottish Parliament Candidate Cathy McInnes on a visit to Kirkintilloch today.

After visiting D’Nisi’s Café and meeting local town centre shopkeepers, the trio held talks with managers at Kirkintilloch Citizens Advice Bureau.

Commenting on the visit to the CAB, Cathy McInnes said:

“Debt problems affect many East Dunbartonshire residents, particularly young people. Recent figures covering a four month period show East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau handing 147 new debt cases, dealing with a total of £1.5m of debts.

“We need action through education to tackle the spiralling problem of debt. Young people must be equipped in schools with the knowledge and financial skills to see them through life. Basic financial planning skills should be embedded in the curriculum.

“As well as doing a fantastic job of helping people who are struggling with debt, the CAB provides a range of services including legal advice and assistance. This is something the Liberal Democrats want to support and improve on, by providing grant assistance for accessing advice supplied by the CAB.”

Commenting on the visit to local shops in Kirkintilloch, Cathy said:

“Town centres need strong local businesses to retain their character and identity. Kirkintilloch has a number of small, independent shops, run by tremendously hard-working local businesspeople.

“Supporting local businesses is vital, which is why the Liberal Democrats are putting the small business sector at the centre of our plans for Government in Scotland. We want to double support for small businesses, to make sure town centres like Kirkintilloch thrive as successful places to do business.”

Speaking on the need for debt education among young people, Nicol Stephen said:

“Young people are more worried about debt than ever before, and research shows that many are already in debt by the time they are 17.

“One of the key reasons young people are not able to cope with debt is a lack of financial literacy. Often they don’t understand what is expected of them when they get a bank account, credit card or mortgage.

“It is now inevitable that young people will have to negotiate their way through what can feel like a maze of responsibilities. Being able to deal with those responsibilities is nothing less than a life skill. I want to ensure that no young person leaves education without those essential life skills.”

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