13 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Food bank rise the result of brutal Tory cuts to universal credit
  • Lib Dems: We must end Tory erosion of local government
  • Lib Dems to invest £500 million in youth services to help tackle knife crime

Food bank rise the result of brutal Tory cuts to universal credit

Responding to data from the Trussell Trust which shows April to September 2019 to be the busiest half-year period for food banks in their network since the charity opened, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions, Tim Farron said:

The UK remains one of the world’s richest countries, yet for six months of this year 823,145 emergency food parcels were given to people in crisis.

With financial vulnerability the leading cause of food insecurity, the Conservative’s brutal cuts to Universal Credit since 2015 and their senseless two-child limit, the lives of millions have worsened under the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrats will bring in a new legal right to food, tackle poverty and build a brighter future by creating the circumstances in which food banks are no longer required.

Lib Dems: We must end Tory erosion of local government

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ first annual report on local government finance, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Tim Farron said:

The crisis in social care has been clear for some time but today’s report shows the extent that it is impacting all other areas of local government.

The Conservatives, incapable of focusing on anything else but Brexit, have ignored the crisis in social care whilst simultaneously cutting local government funding.

Not only are our elderly and most vulnerable people missing out on vital care, with family members having to give up their jobs to fill the gaps in the system, but cuts to local government are having a detrimental impact on our environment, transport, housing and many other local services.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by ending the continual erosion of local government funding and commit to a real increase in local government funding throughout the Parliament. We will also urgently invest in social care by putting a penny on income tax as well as investing the Remain Bonus from stopping Brexit in public services.

Lib Dems to invest £500 million in youth services to help tackle knife crime

The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle soaring levels of knife crime, by investing £500 million in youth services and adopting a public health approach to youth violence.

A Liberal Democrat government would create a £500 million ring-fenced fund for Local Authorities in England to spend on youth services. This would provide young people with positive, safe and healthy opportunities to prevent them being drawn into youth violence and gang-related crime. The party would also make local youth services a statutory service, protecting them from future cuts.

The Liberal Democrats would take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit. This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said:

We are in a knife crime epidemic, but successive Governments have taken the wrong approach to dealing with it.

For 25 years, Conservative and Labour Governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent crime.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by investing £500 million a year in youth services and taking a public health approach to youth violence.

With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our communities will be stronger and people will feel safer.

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  • Sue Sutherland 13th Nov '19 - 2:48pm

    Good press release from Tim Farron. Could there be more emphasis on the proposals in the last two paragraphs in our announcements about creating a better future for people?

  • As a chair of trustees of a Trussell Trust Foodbank I’m afraid I have to point out that our local foodbank opened in 2013 directly as a result of the passing of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Our local area was in the first cohort to have Universal Credit inflicted on it. The waiting period of five weeks was in it from the start, as was the bedroom tax. With regret, I must confirm that Liberal Democrats in parliament voted for it, although amendments could have been tabled at the time.

    All of this was pointed out to a neighbouring Lib Dem MP at the time….. but….. we are where we are.

  • Joseph Bourke 14th Nov '19 - 1:08am

    The Trussel Trust started its UK food aid distribution in 2000 in Salisbury. In 2004 it founded the Foodbank Network based on the Salisbury model. Since then the Trussell Trust has partnered with churches and communities across the country, totalling over 1,200 individual food bank centres. There are an estimated further 800 non-Trussel trust foodbanks across country making over 2,000 food banks in total.
    Food banks are a global phenomenon. First introduced in the USA in the 1960s they now exist in many wealthy countries with Germany having a similar number to the UK, but serving a population 25% greater than the UK https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/50324852.
    To say that circumstances can be created where foodbanks may no longer be required is an ambitious claim. Soup Kitchen’s have been a long-standing permanent feature of big cities like London regardless of the state of the economy or welfare provision. That doesn’t take away from the urgent need. highlighted by Tim Farron, to introduce a new legal right to food and to comprehensively address the spreading problem of in-work poverty.

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