12 September 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Wage Figures: Sunak must commit to triple lock now
  • NHS staff cannot be left to suffer in silence
  • Government may have broken law over sewage: “Environmental vandalism on an industrial scale”
  • Liberal Democrats welcome TfL’s new road safety charter

Wage Figures: Sunak must commit to triple lock now

Responding to today’s wage figures which would be used to uprate pensions, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Rishi Sunak must commit now to the triple lock to ensure the state pension rises in line with the cost of living.

His failure to commit to the triple lock earlier this week will have left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over struggling pensioners. We also need a guarantee that welfare payments won’t be slashed in real terms.

Families and pensioners should not be made to pay the price for years of economic mismanagement under the Conservatives.

NHS staff cannot be left to suffer in silence

Responding to the news that female surgeons are being sexually harassed, assaulted and in some incidences raped by colleagues, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

It’s a national scandal that NHS staff are not only victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace but are then left to suffer in silence.

Time and again, the government has been challenged on such cases and has failed to act.

The government must stop dragging its heels and ensure there is tailored support for all those reporting incidents of this nature, and finally commit to creating a clear and systematic collection of data relating to reports of sexual misconduct within the health service for public and parliamentary scrutiny.

Culture change is also needed inside the NHS and the government must get a grip to drive this through.

Government may have broken law over sewage: “Environmental vandalism on an industrial scale”

Responding to the news that the UK’s environment watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection, has said that the government may have broken the law over how it regulated sewage releases, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This damning report shows the Conservatives have repeatedly let water companies off the hook for dumping their filthy sewage into our rivers, lakes and beaches.

Ministers and regulators are sitting on their hands while water companies get away with environmental vandalism on an industrial scale.

It’s clear the regulators are simply not fit for purpose. We need to reform water companies to put protecting the environment at the heart of their operation, and bring in a proper regulator with teeth.

Liberal Democrats welcome TfL’s new road safety charter

Commenting on the publication of TfL’s new road safety charter, Liberal Democrat London Assembly & Transport Spokesperson Member Caroline Pidgeon AM said:

I welcome the publication of this charter by TfL following my lobbying efforts on this issue during the last year to both the Mayor of London and TfL.

High streets across London are blighted by motorcyclists and scooter riders cluttering pavements.

I will however continue to push companies to enforce couriers to sign up for advanced motorcycle training, something which would help keep everyone on our streets safe, not least the drivers themselves.

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5 Comments

  • Jenny Barnes 13th Sep '23 - 8:51am
  • The press reports of potential real terms benefit cuts Jeremy Hunt considering cutting benefits to fund pre-election tax cuts goes to the heart of policy on inequality.
    The reason we have a triple lock on pensions is to gradually take pensioners out of the poverty imposed in the 1980s when the uprating of state pensions was changed from an earnings basis to CPI only. Benefits have remained on a CPI basis which itself is lower than the former retail price index.
    The current rate of inflation of 6.8% is across a basket of goods but has been much higher in basic essentials like food, energy and London rents. Even uprating by CPI is going to leave millions of already struggling families worse off in real terms.
    The prospects for a return to the kind of economic growth that was possible when manufacturing was a major employer or the two decade burst of expansion created by the financial services industry prior to the banking crisis of 2008 are remote. We have cut ourselves off from the EU single market and are a services dominated economy where productivity growth is more difficult to achieve.This is particularly the case in public services like health, education, social care etc.
    We will need to move towards North European levels of taxation in a largely stagnant economic environment. That can only be achieved with increased levels of redistribution. including wealth redistribution.

  • Joe Bourke 13th Sep ’23 – 5:48pm:
    We have cut ourselves off from the EU single market…

    UK exports to the EU rebounded to record levels in 2022, so hardly ‘cut off’. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) gives the UK full tariff and quota free access to the EU — 27 markets using 24 official languages requiring different packaging, advertising, etc.

    In the 1990s we ran a small trade surplus with the EU; 20 years later we had a huge £100 billion trade deficit — so much for the ‘single market’. UK exports to the rest of the world grew much faster producing a non-EU trade surplus.

    In the 1970s Europe accounted for a third of world GDP. The EU is now less than half that and forecast to fall to 9% by 2050 (PwC). The UK does the majority of its trade outside the EU which is where 94%+ of future growth is projected to be (OECD).

    Leaving the EU customs union enabled us to reduce our trade barriers. The UK is now eighth in the International Trade Barrier Index:
    https://www.tradebarrierindex.org/

    One of the most newsworthy insights of the 2021 TBI is the remarkable progress of the United Kingdom in lowering its own trade barriers after Brexit. Once the UK exited the EU’s common external tariff at the beginning of 2020, it embarked on one of the world’s most ambitious efforts at unilateral trade liberalization. With its new UK Global Tariff, the nation slashed hundreds of tariff lines to zero…

  • Jeff,

    the resolution has analysed 2022 export figures to the EU UK trade performance since leaving the EU
    “For goods exports the story is simple: two-fifths of the whopping 17 per cent rise in UK goods exports was accounted for by exports of precious metals to just four countries looking to rebalance their foreign exchange reserves. These exports do little for the UK’s economic prospects and once they are excluded, UK goods exports remain 5.7 per cent below pre-Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) levels…The drivers of goods export growth will likely be short lived.”

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