1 November 2018 – today’s press releases

We’ve got a veritable torrent of press releases today, starting with an example of the Party being rather more radical than Labour…

Cable: £1.3 billion for higher-rate payers should be used to reverse welfare cuts

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will be voting against the Government’s plans to raise the higher-rate tax threshold to £50,000.

The policy – announced in Monday’s budget – will cost an estimated £1.3 billion pounds next year, money which could instead be used to reverse cuts to Universal Credit or end the benefits freeze a year early.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Government is about priorities. With public services desperate for investment, now is not the time to reduce taxes for high earners. Instead Philip Hammond should use the money to further reverse cuts to Universal Credit or end the benefits freeze a year early.

In Government Liberal Democrats focused tax cuts on lower earning families, and we support continued efforts to do so.

We encourage Labour MPs who disagree with both front benches about the raising of the higher rate threshold to vote with us against it and put pressure on the Treasury to change course.

Police ‘shouldn’t be forced to choose between burglaries and hate crimes’

Responding to comments from Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, that forces are ‘over stretched’, Liberal Democrats Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The police shouldn’t be forced to choose between investigating burglaries and investigating hate crimes. The Government must give them the resources to do both.

Unnecessary Conservative cuts have taken thousands of police officers off the streets, and put enormous pressure on those who remain.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We will end the Conservative cuts and invest an extra £300 million to give forces the resources they need to keep communities safe.

Davey: Govt must take action on organised crime

Responding to reports from the National Crime Agency that show the extend of organised crime in the UK, Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The true cost of organised crime extends well beyond the financial impact. It includes the children exploited by gangs, the vulnerable people held in modern slavery and the lives taken by trafficked weapons.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are demanding an extra £300 million a year for the police, to rebuild the community policing that helps to prevent gangs from operating, and greater investment in the Border Force to stop the trafficking of people, weapons and illegal drugs.

But the biggest threat to the fight against organised crime is Brexit, which risks robbing us of crucial cross-border tools like the European Arrest Warrant and information-sharing systems. That’s why we are fighting to keep those tools, by giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal, with the option to remain.

Welsh Lib Dems Protecting Rural Schools

A new code introduced today by Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams is another example of the transformational impact Welsh Lib Dems are having on rural schools and rural Wales.

The new, strengthened code includes a presumption against the closure of rural schools and is part of a wider Rural Education Plan that also includes a Small and Rural Schools Grant.

The School Organisation Code has been revised to include a more detailed set of procedures and requirements that local authorities and other proposers must follow when putting together proposals to close a rural school. This includes a description of a rural school and the schools that fall under this definition.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said:

Rural schools are at the heart of community life and key to our National Mission for Education. I want to make sure that we’re supporting pupils and teachers in rural areas and that all our young people, no matter where they live, receive the very best education.

That’s why we have acted to strengthen the School Organisation Code, ensuring that councils and other proposers do everything they can to keep a rural school open before deciding to consult on closure.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

Welsh Liberal Democrats have always uniquely understood and stood up for our rural communities and today is yet another example. Kirsty is transforming rural education to make our schools the best they can be. This shows once again the difference Welsh Lib Dems can make in government.

Brexiter ranks filled with dodgy demagogues

Commenting on news that Arron Banks has been referred to the National Crime Agency Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

This is an extremely concerning development. People have known for a long time that the Brexiter ranks were filled with dodgy demagogues, today’s news will be little surprise.

Brexit will cause great damage to this country and it cannot happen on the back of a Leave campaign littered with lies, deceit and allegations of much worse. That is why the people must have a final say on Brexit.

Government inaction on fixed-odds betting terminals ruining lives

Liberal Democrat MP, Christine Jardine, has criticised the Conservative Government’s response to the delay in implementing a planned and much needed reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals.

This delay is completely unacceptable. The Government’s inaction is ruining lives and they must not be allowed to continue make these excuses that only benefit bookmakers.

The £2 maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals must come into force immediately. The damage that is being done to individuals by these machines will persist with hundreds of pounds being lost in seconds, day after day.

Perhaps they can compensate by also extending the maximum stake reduction to online games such as blackjack, where you can also bet and lose some thousands in just one hand.

PM must end FOBT delay

Responding to the announcement that DCMS Minister, Tracey Crouch, has resigned from the Government over their handling of fixed-odds betting terminals, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:

When the Minister responsible for a policy steps down, you know the Government is moving in the wrong direction.

These machines are a blight on our society and undeniably damaging to vulnerable people.

Tracey Crouch knows this, so why doesn’t the Prime Minister? Theresa May should come to the floor of the House and explain why this will not be implemented for another year.

Lib Dems lead rebellion against Tory tax cuts for higher earners

Commenting as 21 Labour MPs voted with the Liberal Democrats against raising the higher rate tax threshold, Lib Dem Leader, Vince Cable said:

Despite the best efforts of their whips, 21 Labour MPs put principle above party and voted with the Liberal Democrats against the Government’s indefensible tax cuts for higher earners.

It is beyond belief that a party which claims to stand ‘for the many, not the few’, decided not to oppose the Government on this. Using the money to fund Universal Credit or end the benefits freeze would have been a far more progressive way of using the money.

On Brexit, Universal Credit and now the Budget, the Liberal Democrats have shown that we are the real opposition.

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One Comment

  • Nothing on Lib Dem redundancies, Mark? Reported last night on Buzzfeed and apparently backed by a Lib Dem statement?

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