10 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week
  • Swinson warns of Johnson threat to human rights
  • Business backs the Liberal Democrats
  • Lib Dems are listening to Gen Z’s climate emergency fears

Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week

The Liberal Democrats have revealed that Brexit is already costing the government £380–470 million a week – money that could have been spent on the NHS instead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that GDP is £55–66 billion lower this year than it would have been without Brexit, mainly due to uncertainty deterring business investment. Business investment in the UK has fallen by 3% since the end of 2017, whereas other G7 countries have seen it grow.

Based on the IFS figures, the Liberal Democrats have calculated that public sector receipts (which are 37% of GDP) are £20.3–24.3 billion lower this year than they would have been, which equates to £380–470 million a week.

Commenting on the figure, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

Boris’s lie on the side of a bus was an even bigger whopper than we thought. Not only does Brexit not mean an extra £350 million a week for the NHS, it actually means £350 million a week less – and that’s before we’ve even left.

If Boris Johnson wins a majority on Thursday, his disastrous hard Brexit will suck even more money out of our economy and our public services. Only the Liberal Democrats can win seats from the Tories and deny Boris a majority.

That’s why every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Boris, stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus from higher economic growth to build a brighter future.

Swinson warns of Johnson threat to human rights

To mark Human Rights Day, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has said:

Human rights are under threat at this election.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal would rip up protections for workers’ rights and children’s rights, while his manifesto threatens our Human Rights Act itself.

Liberal Democrats have always stood up for human rights, whether it was ending child detention in immigration centres, opposing the Snoopers’ Charter or introducing same-sex marriage.

Liberal Democrats stopped the Conservatives from scrapping the Human Rights Act before, and we will stop them again now. We are the only party that can win seats from the Conservatives and deny Boris Johnson a majority.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats on Thursday is a vote to stop Boris, stop Brexit and build a brighter future, where human rights are protected and everyone’s dignity is respected.

Business backs the Liberal Democrats

Ready meal entrepreneur Charlie Bigham and former President of the CBI Sir Michael Rake are among a raft of business leaders who are supporting the Liberal Democrats.

In addition, entrepreneurs and founders of some of modern Britain’s best brands, including Superdry, Lovefilm, Zoopla, New Covent Garden Soup, Big Yellow Group, and eBookers, are among more than 60 business leaders who have written a letter naming the Liberal Democrats as the ‘only party who have set out a credible plan for future prosperity’.

Charlie Bigham, founder of the eponymous ready-meal brand, said:

I know a thing or two about oven-ready, and it’s clear that Johnson’s Brexit plan is no such thing.

This Conservative Party now care more about ideology than prosperity. They have lost the credibility to call themselves the party of business because we know any form of Brexit will make it more difficult to do business in the UK.

I’m joining dozens of entrepreneurs and businessmen, as well as the Economist, in supporting the Liberal Democrats whose plans for business and the economy are the best on offer.

Sir Michael Rake, former President of the CBI, said in a letter to the Financial Times:

The Liberal Democrats have ploughed a lonely furrow in being the only party truly reflecting the interests and importance of the business community to a successful inclusive economy. They have also been clear and honest about the damage, economically and reputationally, being caused to our country by Brexit.

Jo Swinson’s party has engaged with businesses and put forward a credible manifesto which addresses the major issues identified by business groups such as reforming business rates, investing in infrastructure and ensuring firms have access to skilled labour.

Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Business Secretary, said:

At election time they say ‘it’s the economy, stupid’, but this time the two main parties have opted for stupid economics instead, whether that’s pursuing Brexit that we know will damage the economy or a reckless spending plan we can’t afford.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs recognise that Liberal Democrats are now the natural party for business. We’re offering a credible plan that will create an environment to help business build prosperity and create jobs, underpinned by a stronger economy within the EU.

Lib Dems are listening to Gen Z’s climate emergency fears

Responding to an Amnesty International survey showing that young people view climate change as one of the most important issues facing the world, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Climate Emergency, Wera Hobhouse said:

Gen Z have been shouting it in the streets: the climate emergency is one of the most important issues we have ever faced. It’s real and we have to act now.

Young people shouldn’t have to strike from school to get the Tories to listen to their concerns. The Conservatives are climate delayers and are complacent in the face of a crisis. The Liberal Democrats are listening. We have a credible plan to tackle the climate emergency. We will spend £100 billion pounds to generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030, retrofit all homes by 2025, and planting 60 million trees a year to increase UK forest cover.

The Liberal Democrats will make tackling the climate emergency an absolute priority. We have to act now to build a brighter future for our planet.

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3 Comments

  • Peter Martin 10th Dec '19 - 8:28am

    On the ‘back of envelope’ NHS finance calculations:

    1) There’s no real evidence that the vote to leave the EU has adversely affected our GDP. Last year we managed a growth of 1.8% which was just about double the EU average.

    2) There’s also no evidence that GDP is a reliable indicator of our well being. GDP has tripled in the last 40 years or so and, yet, here we are still lamenting the poor state of our health service and how we “don’t have enough money” to provide decent social care etc etc

    If a rising GDP was a good fix for all our problems, how is it that class sizes in schools don’t fall as GDP rises?

  • Peter Martin: Because people prefer to spend their money on instant gratification, having a good time, new clothes, holidays etc rather than paying the taxes needed to improve public services and then complain when they have to wait for an appointment.
    When most people were poor they voted for parties which promised to do something about it but now the majority are not poor and vote for those who promise to keep taxes down whilst those who are poor have given up voting as they think it is pointless but they did vote for Brexit as a protest even though it might makes their plight worse.

  • Peter Martin 11th Dec '19 - 1:01am

    @ Dennis Wake

    I suppose that is one theory. Another might be that the cost of nurses, doctors and teachers does rise as GDP rises. I’m not saying they shouldn’t share in an increase of general prosperity but this does need to be factored into calculations. It is usually overlooked as it was in the OP.

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