12 August 2020 – today’s press releases

  • GDP figures show need for more radical action from Government
  • Using mock exams won’t resolve grade award crisis
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats launch campaign calling for Rishi Sunak not to tax carers COVID bonus

GDP figures show need for more radical action from Government

Responding to the news that the economy is facing the worst recession in UK history, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Ministers must take immediate action to save jobs and livelihoods as the true economic impact of Covid-19 comes to light.

The Treasury must explain how it is going to stop mass redundancies when the furlough scheme wraps up. It simply cannot be the case that jobs saved in Spring disappear in the autumn. The Chancellor must also be bold about creating new jobs by undertaking a proper ambitious green recovery.

The Prime Minister must immediately work with EU allies to remove the January Brexit cliff edge. A bad deal or no deal at all with our closest trading partners whilst we are in a deep recession will add insult to injury in our economy and cost many more livelihoods.

Using mock exams won’t resolve grade award crisis

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a so-called “triple lock” on this year’s grade awards, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Young people are rightly worried that their futures are being derailed by a botched grading system. Ministers have long been warned to take extra steps to make sure pupils are not unfairly penalised, but using mock examination results won’t resolve this.

Given that there is no consistent approach to mock examinations across schools, this could be more of a barrier than a benefit for many pupils. Had Ministers consulted teachers they would have known this. Pupils deserve better.

Pupils must have the chance to appeal their grades directly at no cost, and to present evidence that reflects their performance and progress to date. Ministers must also be crystal clear about how they will enable pupils who wish to re-sit, again at no cost.

Welsh Liberal Democrats launch campaign calling for Rishi Sunak not to tax carers COVID bonus

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds has today launched her party’s campaign to get Chancellor Rishi Sunak to agree not to tax the Covid ‘thank you’ payment for care workers.

The £500 payment, introduced by the Welsh Government over three months ago, has only just started to be paid. This is due to the UK Treasury insisting it be taxed, which led to months of delay.

Given the payment is being made without a tax exemption from the Treasury, many will see many receive a vastly reduced sum and carers on Universal Credit could lose out due to the way the benefit is calculated.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been pushing for the Chancellor to scrap the tax on this payment since June. Today, they have launched an open letter campaign aimed at pressuring the Chancellor to do just that.

They are also calling for the Treasury to immediately refund the tax anyone receiving the payment has seen deducted from the £500 sum.

Announcing the campaign, Jane Dodds said:

It’s shocking that our hard-working carers are seeing their Covid thank you payment whittled away – all due to this cruel Tory Government’s heartless inaction and insistence upon taxing the payment.

Rishi Sunak could resolve this situation in an instant, by simply announcing that the payment won’t be taxed or included in Universal Credit calculations. The fact he hasn’t done so yet is an insult to carers across Wales.

Today we’re launching an open letter, calling on Mr Sunak to make this announcement. Our carers have been waiting three months for this payment, now they are seeing the vast majority of it snatched away by the Conservatives in Westminster.

If you agree with me that our carers have gone above and beyond during this pandemic, please go to www.welshlibdems.wales/open-letter and sign up to support our campaign.

Ed Davey MP, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, added:

Our carers have been overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated for too long. The £500 thank you payment, announced by the Welsh Government in May, is to recognise and reward their dedication and service during this pandemic.

We need to create a fairer and more caring country – and that starts right now by not taxing this payment and rewarding the selfless work carers across Wales have undertaken.

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4 Comments

  • richard underhill. 13th Aug '20 - 10:00am

    In order to support the Alderdice Review “One thing” we must clearly say we support Biden-Harris. He has been Vice President to Barack Obama, She is in position to stand for President in 2024. Anyone but Trump is too vague. We must be specific. Remember that the first US President George Washington was a slave owner and evaded legislation to release slaves by crossing states lines illegally.
    The first motion our merged party approved at federal conference was against slavery in all its forms.

  • richard underhill. 13th Aug '20 - 10:20am

    President Obama’s visit to Cuba was of historic importance after decades of difficulties. The President of Cuba was Fidel Castro’s brother, but soon after the visit Fidel died. The current president is Miguel Díaz-Canel. It seems unlikely that President Trump would try to improved relations after what he has said. If Canada can help she should.
    When President John F Kennedy sent an emissary to Cuba Fidel gave him a box of cigars for JFK. On return to a US port an immigration officer seized the cigars under sanctions regulations and was asked what he would do with them. He replied “Burn them!!!” and got the reply “Yes, one by one.”
    [source Playboy magazine, sorry no date. ]

  • Peter Hirst 13th Aug '20 - 5:39pm

    Any decent government knows that taxes as well as providing revenue and inhibiting illegal activities acts to signal what changes to behaviour it would like. This government gives out all the wrong signals. Genuine collective decision making would make this much easier.

  • Antony Watts 15th Aug '20 - 11:20am

    There are 3 steps

    1. You have a good job, all is going well, you get reasonable rises
    2. You lose that job! Disaster
    3. You get support. Now here’s the rub. In UK today you do not get the support you need. You just get a miserable amount to live on based on the attitude that,”pay them little to force them to find a job”

    And this is fundamentally immoral and wrong.

    People have to supported. When your income falls to zero, then you are still faced with uncontrollable bills to pay – mortgage, fuel, food… We need to find a way to lighten this load, especially when we have growing mass unemployment. Capitalists must suffer as well as wage losses.

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