Elsewhere, whilst some of us adjust back into the normal routine after the New Year, some of our tribunes are already up and running.
Paul Burstow hit the headlines yesterday with his call for means-testing of the winter fuel allowance, with the intention of saving £1.5 billion, to be redirected towards paying for the proposed social care changed recommended by the Dilnot Commission. Writing in the Guardian;
Some argue this is a debate we need to have at or even after the next general election. But by that time it will be too late. The research in my report reveals that someone who owns an averagely priced home currently faces losing at least 65% of their assets to pay for care. If Dilnot were implemented, capping the cost of care at £50,000 and extending the means test to £100,000 – people would only have to use 22% of their assets. Now that’s a difference worth fighting for, a difference worth a small sacrifice from each of those who can afford it.
For those interested in the details of his proposals, the Centre Forum report can be found here.
Meanwhile, Lynne Featherstone has launched a passionate defence of the UK’s international development budget;
The Coalition is sticking to its promises to the world’s poorest people because we believe development is both the right thing and the smart thing to do, creating a safer, more prosperous world for everyone. Because aid is no longer ‘giving to the poor’ but about supporting the capacity of the recipient country to stand on its own two feet – a win-win outcome for them and for us.
And finally, for now at least, Paul Tyler is still determined to enact the Party’s agenda on democratic and constitutional reform;
Chris Rennard and I have been keeping a careful eye on the Government’s plans to move to Individual Electoral Registration. The change is absolutely right in principle – of course everyone should fill in their own form – but the transition to the new system must be handled well, so that we do not lose large numbers of people from the register. The Bill will come back to the Lords on January 14th, and we will be working hard to improve it at that point.
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