1-2 August 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Government have deserted care homes entirely
  • Government’s planning reform shows they’re not serious about tackling housing crisis

Liberal Democrats: Government have deserted care homes entirely

Responding to the reports that the Government has abandoned their pledge to test all care home residents regularly throughout the summer, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The decision to drop the pledge to test all care home residents regularly would be a decision to desert care home residents entirely. The reports today, if true, are sadly just another example of a Government that is either woefully incompetent or one that simply doesn’t care.

The Government has made clear right throughout the coronavirus crisis that protecting those in our care homes is not a priority for them – from the beginning of the crisis, Ministers failed to equip care homes with sufficient testing and PPE, whilst discharging patients with the virus into their homes.

The test and trace system is in utter disarray, exposing the most vulnerable in our society to coronavirus. The need for an inquiry to begin its work now, so that the Prime Minister and his Government are forced to come to terms with the reality of their errors and learn from them, is more important than ever.

Government’s planning reform shows they’re not serious about tackling housing crisis

Responding to the Government’s announcement of planning reform in England which will allow new homes and hospitals to be granted automatic permission to be built, Liberal Democrat MHCLG Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The announcement to reform England’s planning laws today reveals that once again Ministers are not serious about solving the housing crisis. It is not the lack of planning permission that prevents new, genuinely affordable, homes being built, but this Government’s refusal to properly invest in social housing.

Across the country thousands are on housing waiting lists – but with councils approving nine out of ten planning applications, it is clear that these changes announced today will not help those on waiting lists or those saving to buy a home.

Rather than tinkering with planning laws, what Robert Jenrick should be doing is unveiling a huge housebuilding program of social homes for rent. We have already lost thousands of social rented homes as a result of the Government’s permitted developed changes to date.

The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes to be built every year, as well as giving local authorities the ability to suspend the right to buy in their own areas, so that we can finally start tackling the crisis that’s crippling the UK’s housing market.

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