Author Archives: Claire Tyler

Baroness Claire Tyler writes: Why banning smoking in cars with children in can and should be enforced

I read with great interest Caron’s very balanced blog entry on Thursday about banning smoking in cars with children and the varied comments that followed. These showed a quite legitimate difference of opinion about how to apply liberal principles in an such an area , as illustrated when Nick Clegg shared his own personal views on Thursday’s Call Clegg.

Much of the ensuing media and blog debate -including on Lib Dem Voice -has focussed on whether it’s right to legislate about what people do in private cars and whether this isn’t too great an intrusion by the “nanny state” into …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 17 Comments

Baroness Claire Tyler writes…A victory for public health (and cross-party working)

Moving amendments to legislation in the Lords can often feel like an interesting and worthy – but ultimately pointless – activity as often nothing changes. Not so this week!. I was one of the cross party group of peers who moved an  amendment to the Children and Families Bill last week to introduce powers to bring in regulations on standard packaging for cigarettes. My fellow peers were Ilora Finlay (crossbench), Richard Faulkner (Labour), and Ian McColl (Conservative). In the Commons it has also been genuinely cross party endeavour, the campaign being led by MPs including Paul Burstow and Stephen Williams …

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Baroness Tyler writes… A strong charitable sector is at the heart of a fairer society

A lot of people are talking about what the challenge of creating a stronger economy and a fairer society means in practical terms. I’m going to focus here on the latter. As well as implementing key Lib Dem policies such as the Pupil Premium ,raising the tax-free personal allowance, making childcare more affordable and introducing the new single tier state pension, it’s important we recognise the role charities and voluntary organisations play in helping people going through difficult times as part of a broader approach to social justice. This country has a proud history of charitable activity to …

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Baroness Tyler writes… Developing character and resilience in young people

The Social Mobility All Party Parliamentary Group have been working since 2011 to get an in-depth understanding of what it is that enables some people to get ahead in life whilst others fall behind and aren’t able make the most of their abilities and potential.

What became glaring to us through our report on “The Seven Key Truths of Social Mobility” published last year was the importance of so-called “soft skills”, an area all too often neglected in the social mobility debate. To shine a spotlight on this neglected area we held a Character and Resilience Summit yesterday in Admiralty House …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: The other care crisis

Wheelchair signs - Some rights reserved by Leo ReynoldsOver the course of this Parliament, social care reform could become the most distinctive area of Liberal Democrat influence in the Coalition.

The Party has the strongest foothold in an issue that is permeated by talk of ‘cross party consensus’ (although, to date, the rhetoric has led to precious little real agreement), with both Ministers for Social Care under the Coalition – and probably the biggest voices – being Lib Dems, in Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb.

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Baroness Tyler writes… A balanced working life consultation

Times are tough for people on low to middle incomes. As a group they have seen their quality of life remain stagnate even during times of sustained economic growth. The financial crisis of 2008 and ensuing recession has made getting by much more difficult for large numbers of people who are unable to make ends meet and with no savings to fall back on when the money runs out.

Which is why I was delighted when I was asked to chair the Lib Dem Working group on a Balanced Working Life. Our remit is to

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 5 Comments

Baroness Tyler writes… To improve social mobility, we need to shine a spotlight on early years

One of the fascinating things I have discovered since joining the Lib Dem group in the Lords last year is the profusion of all party groups in Parliament on virtually every subject under the sun. There are quite simply hundreds of them including some pretty bizarre ones ! About a year ago I decided to join the cross party group on social mobility – a key interest of mine since my time in central government as the Head of the Social Exclusion Unit. On Tuesday we launched our first report at a packed event in hosted by the Policy …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Baroness Claire Tyler writes… Shining a spotlight on health inequalities

Today is Third Reading in the Lords of the Health and Social Care Bill. That this is one of the longest, most complex and contentious piece of legislation of this Parliamentary session barely needs restating. That it is unloved in many quarters is a statement of the obvious. And of course you only have to read the many articles and threads on Lib Dem Voice about the Bill to know that views still vary widely on whether it is necessary to address the fundamental challenges faced by the NHS.

Having been a member of the Lib Dem team in the Lords – working alongside far more experienced colleagues than I – I do know that the Bill has improved out of all recognition from the Bill we received from the Commons. Of course it does not bear the hallmarks of a Bill that has come from a Lib Dem stable – because it didn’t – but that is the nature of coalition government. And whilst I fully recognise that some in the party would rather part 3 of the Bill dealing with competition didn’t exist, I think it’s necessary.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Tagged | 12 Comments



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  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Apr - 12:12pm
    “Nursing was not thought of as a profession for middle-class girls. Most professional nurses came from more humble homes" And nursing was better as a...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Apr - 12:07pm
    A Chocolate Teapot could have been used to mock the Coaition. But Steve Bradley is right -- Clegg is the weak point. Whilst he is...
  • User AvatarSteve Bradley 20th Apr - 11:36am
    In the eyes of many voters, Nick Clegg has become the personification of everything they have disliked about the Lib Dems since 2010. It's unfair,...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 20th Apr - 11:33am
    Whether things like this are effective depend on whether they strike a chord with people. In this case I leave others to judge that. By...
  • User Avatarmalc 20th Apr - 11:23am
    Labour know if they succeed in making Clegg look like a "weak Tory" they will attract left wing Lib Dem voters and win the GE....
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Apr - 11:14am
    @Martin "but popular opinion is generally against our pro EU message" A recent poll of students suggests that even where the pro-EU message is supported...