Cole-Hamilton calls for bus passes for Ukrainian refugees
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called for the Scottish Government to fund travel cards for refugees who are trying to establish a new life for themselves in Scotland.
In Orkney, the bus company Stagecoach have agreed to temporarily fund bus passes for Ukrainian refugees for an initial three month period. However, at present there is no national scheme in place.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have also called for the Scottish Government to create a "back to school backpack" initiative for all those Ukrainian refugees who will join Scottish schools in the coming months, containing all the necessary equipment for starting their education path, from uniforms to school supplies.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
"Scotland is at a critical moment as we welcome hundreds of Ukrainian refugees who have escaped the unimaginable horrors of a war that continues to rumble on.
"The Scottish Government must commit to helping refugees rebuild their lives here. Access to transport is vital because it allows refugees to take up jobs, get to school and keep in touch with family and friends.
"Councils are doing the best they can to support people, but their budgets have been cut year after year. That is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to fund a nationwide bus travel scheme to give Ukrainian refugees at least three months' free travel.
"The people of Scotland have generously opened their homes and shown their love for the people of Ukraine, but the government's response has been slow and bureaucratic. They must take pragmatic steps to support the futures and families of our refugees."