14 February – today’s press releases

  • ONS figures: Families see pay squeezed by Conservative incompetence
  • Two-week cancer diagnosis target missed by half of NHS trusts in every month last year
  • Welsh Lib Dems Comment on Welsh Government Road Review

ONS figures: Families see pay squeezed by Conservative incompetence

Responding to the latest ONS figures showing a 3.1% real-terms fall in pay in October to December 2022, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

This Conservative government has hammered families with soaring mortgages, rising energy bills and huge unfair tax hikes.

Hard-working people are having their pay squeezed thanks to the incompetence of Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.

A long list of Conservative Chancellors have driven the economy to the edge of recession, leaving millions worried about losing their jobs.

The Government should do the right thing, put in place a proper windfall tax and cancel April’s energy bill rise.

Two-week cancer diagnosis target missed by half of NHS trusts in every month last year

Almost one in two NHS hospital trusts missed a crucial two-week cancer diagnosis target in every month last year, new research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

NHS targets state that 93% patients should have an appointment with a cancer specialist within two weeks of an urgent GP referral.

However, analysis of figures provided by the House of Commons Library shows this target was missed by 63 of 132 (48%) of NHS trusts in England in every single month of 2022. The Liberal Democrats warned that targets are being “routinely missed,” exposing “shocking gaps in cancer care.”

Only five NHS trusts, making up less than 4% of the total, met the target in every month of last year.

At the worst performing trusts in December 2022, fewer than half of patients were seen within the two-week target after an urgent GP referral. The worst was University Hospital Bristol and Weston where just 42% of patients were seen within two weeks. This was followed by Whittington Health (45%), Liverpool University Hospitals (48%), and North West Anglia (49%).

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

It is a national scandal that crucial targets are being routinely missed, leaving many people waiting anxiously for a cancer diagnosis.

It shows there are shocking gaps in cancer care depending on where you live in the country.

The evidence tells us how critical a speedy diagnosis can be. The government must get a grip on this crisis so cancer patients get the urgent care they need to give them the best chance of survival. That must start with a proper plan to recruit the NHS staff the health service so desperately needs.

Welsh Lib Dems Comment on Welsh Government Road Review

Commenting on the publication of the Welsh Government’s Road Review Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

I welcome today’s announcement and the intention to divest from pollution-intensive sectors.

For too long, we’ve spent millions on new roads with no real improvements in road safety or congestion where we need it most.

At the same time, successive Labour Governments in Cardiff Bay have left public transport, the best way to encourage more sustainable travel, to suffer.

We now need a long-term plan to invest in safer roads, public transport, and tackling air pollution in our communities.

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  • nigel hunter 15th Feb '23 - 12:07pm

    One idea that could alleviate a small number of families, re nurses and supporting jobs, would be what Johnson (I will NEVER call him by his 1st name) promised but what has not happened, AND needs pushing, is the getting rid of car parking costs for NHS workers.It could also help in pay negotiations.

  • George Thomas 15th Feb '23 - 9:03pm

    There are adequate roads in and around Cardiff (Newport, Bristol) but too many cars, however there are not adequate roads stretching from north to south Wales and therefore blanket policy probably isn’t the best idea.

    If going with this policy there needs to be massive investment into public transport to help ease what will in short-term be increase in congestion. This needs to be both looking at short term and future proofing (trains were cancelled this past summer due to not being able to deal with extreme heat of summer which is something likely to be repeated), and we need to call out that the HS2 money not being devolved makes this 100x times harder than it should be.

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