17 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system
  • Lib Dems: Unholy alliance signs up to Johnson’s disastrous deal
  • Lib Dems: Tory migration policy panders to Farage
  • Swinson: Clueless Corbyn cannot answer the most basic questions on Brexit
  • Labour pursuing Brexit makes their dentist policy ‘undeliverable’
  • Lib Dems: Tory nurse tax ballooning due to immigration health surcharge rise

Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system

The Liberal Democrats will today (Sunday 17 November) announce bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. This forms part of the party’s ambitious plans to build a brighter future.

Tory austerity has left a fifth of UK citizens in poverty, unable to afford even the most basic essentials.

The Liberal Democrats will tackle this crisis by committing £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. Liberal Democrat proposals will prioritise tackling child poverty by abolishing the cruel two-child limit for Universal Credit and ending the unfair benefits cap.

A Liberal Democrat government will make work pay and tackle in-work poverty, by using part of the Remain bonus – the £50 billion of extra funding that would be generated by stopping Brexit – to restore Work Allowances and introduce a second-earner Work Allowance. A Liberal Democrat government will also invest in boosting the Local Housing Allowance by linking it to average rents in each area.

Liberal Democrat plans to strengthen the UK’s welfare system will protect the most vulnerable and help to build a brighter future.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Tim Farron said:

For too many people in the UK today, working hard and playing by the rules is no longer enough to secure a decent life. Millions of people’s lives have worsened under the Conservatives. Since 2015 they have bungled the roll-out of Universal Credit, made brutal cuts to benefits and introduced their senseless two-child limit that is fuelling child poverty.

The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and invest billions of pounds from the Remain bonus in building a brighter future for those struggling in our society. We will fix our broken welfare system to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

Lib Dems: Unholy alliance signs up to Johnson’s disastrous deal

Responding to reports every Conservative Party candidate has signed up to vote for Boris Johnson’s deal, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

Boris Johnson’s deal would be bad for our NHS, bad for our economy and bad for our environment. Every Conservative candidate has now signed up to an unholy alliance with Johnson, Farage and others that will make people poorer.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party at this election that can take seats from the Conservatives and stop Boris Johnson’s recklessness.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to defeat Johnson, stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

Lib Dems: Tory migration policy panders to Farage

Following Brandon Lewis’ appearance on Sophy Ridge this morning, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Affairs Secretary Christine Jardine said:

Brandon Lewis’ assertion that immigration will fall under a Conservative majority reaffirms what we already know: voting for the Conservatives is a vote to undermine the rights of those who have made the UK their home.

No matter how many assurances the Conservatives have given EU citizens, it is clear to all they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. In a Tory Brexit, Boris Johnson will not hesitate to sell-out citizens’ rights to the likes of Donald Trump in attempt to secure trade deals.

The Liberal Democrats understand the benefits immigration has to both our society and our economy. Pledging to cut immigration is just more evidence that the Tories are pandering to the likes of Farage in their lurch to the far right. Equally the Labour Party continue to fail to be any sort of form of opposition, with Jonathan Ashworth refusing to say what Labour’s immigration policy is.

The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future, with a fair, effective immigration system that treats everyone with dignity and respect. We will scrap the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment, restore dignity and common sense, and stop Brexit to save freedom of movement.

Swinson: Clueless Corbyn cannot answer the most basic questions on Brexit

Following Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance on Andrew Marr, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

Jeremy Corbyn’s car crash interview shows that he doesn’t know where he stands on big issues like Brexit, immigration or trade. The only thing that’s clear is Jeremy Corbyn is useless, clueless, and he cannot answer the most basic questions on Brexit.

The Labour Party aren’t even fit for opposition, let alone government. They have let the public down time and again and the British people deserve better.

In this general election the Liberal Democrats are providing a genuine and clear choice: we will stop Brexit and build and a brighter future.

Labour pursuing Brexit makes their dentist policy ‘undeliverable’

Responding to Labour’s proposal to scrap band one dentistry charges, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Luciana Berger said:

Labour’s proposals do not account for the 22% of NHS dentistry that is provided by dentists from the EU and EEA.

Only this week, Labour failed yet again to confirm their position on freedom of movement. With the NHS reliant on dentists from the EU and nearly a third of EU and EEA dentists considering leaving the UK in the next few years, in large part due to Brexit uncertainty, Labour’s support for Brexit will be so damaging for the oral health of the UK.

Labour must stop proposing policies in this election that are undeliverable because of their support for Brexit. The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS and NHS dentistry.

Lib Dems: Tory nurse tax ballooning due to immigration health surcharge rise

Today the Liberal Democrats have slammed reports that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have pledged to make all those permanently relocating to the UK to pay an increased surcharge of £625, further increasing what was dubbed by the Liberal Democrats the ‘nurse tax’.

The ‘nurse tax’ was the policy outlined just last week by the Tory Party that the Immigration health surcharge and immigration visa fee were being extended to EU health professionals, coming to the UK to work in the NHS.

Following these announcements, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:

The Tory nurse tax is ballooning due to the immigration health surcharge rise announced today and is an insult to the thousands of people who dedicate their lives coming to work for our health service from the EU.

The NHS relies on 20,000 EU nurses, 10,000 EU doctors, and we’ve already lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last 2 years. Without EU doctors and nurses our NHS would not be able to function and our loved ones would not receive the care they need.

Equally, Matt Hancock’s comments today are heartless. He should know better than anyone how important international workers are to our NHS.

For Matt Hancock to say that these doctors and nurses are not making a fair contribution towards our NHS is appalling. And for the Conservatives to charge people even more money to work in our NHS – when we are already struggling with severe staff shortages – is irresponsible and absurd.

The Liberal Democrats have the solution to the NHS staff crisis: stop Brexit so that we can build a brighter future for our NHS.

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17 Comments

  • Peter Martin 17th Nov '19 - 9:44pm

    I’m trying to make some sense of Jo Swinson’s line in this election. The Lib Dems seem to be stuck at around 15%-16% of the vote. There’s no chance of an overall win. There are two possible routes to stopping Brexit.

    1) Form some sort of an alliance with Labour to have a so-called “People’s Vote”. Except I notice that Lib Dems don’t seem keen on this term any longer. JS has obviously ruled this out.

    2) Hope that the Tories need the Lib Dems to form a Govt.The Lib Dems can then demand that Brexit be stopped. Has JS ruled this out? I don’t think so.

    Option 2 is a possibility but it has to be a very outside chance. Any sensible person who was serious about stopping Brexit would have to go with Option 1.

  • Its much too early to give up on our chances in this Election, the situation is highly unstable.
    The Government is currently more unpopular than Majors was on the eve of The 1997 Labour landslide.
    The Opposition is more unpopular than it was in 1983.
    Labour & Tories are each held up by the weakness of the other but that depends on most Voters continuing to believe that there cant be an Alternative.
    Maybe that can stick for another 3 Weeks but we dont know that yet.

  • Yousuf Farah 17th Nov '19 - 11:58pm

    @Peter Martin Come on, there is no way the Lib Dems will form any kind of coalition or pact with the Tories after the election, whatever happened. For the simply fact that they would be wiped out in any future election if they did so and never trusted again by anyone, all those things that rabid Labour supporters on social media say about them be true.

    In the event of a hung parliament, if a pact or some kind of agreement could be made with Labour, in order to bring about a people’s vote, I could see a deal being made between the parties. But I think the Lib Dems are trying to target Tory remainers, and they can’t be see to be enabling Corbyn.

  • John Marriott 18th Nov '19 - 8:18am

    JS “clueless”. Having watched him perform on Andrew Marr yesterday I’m not so sure. If his voice holds up, he might just Spring a few surprises in this week’s ITN head-to-head (subject, of course to Swinson’s appeal).

    If Johnson does his usual joke a minute stand up comedy routine and JC stays calm, we might be in for a ‘Clegg moment’. Mind you, I’ve been wrong so many times, unlike Peter Martin, that I ought not to believe a word I say. And who is going to make up their minds based on the TV debates anyway?

  • John Marriott 18th Nov '19 - 8:19am

    Sorry, for ‘JS’ read ‘JC’!

  • Arnold Kiel 18th Nov '19 - 8:47am

    JC’s displayed Brexit-indifference, as much as most of us question or hate it, should not be confused with cluelessness. He has just learned the Cameron-lesson: you cannot remain PM if you lose.

  • Agree with John Marriott. Mr Corbyn appears to be the only leader talking about the bread and butter issues that affect ordinary folk at the moment. Don’t underestimate his campaigning abilities and the resentment against the right wing tabloids that have hurled so much abuse at him.

    Whether or not one is a girly swot seems to be a matter of supreme indifference to the people who visit my local Food bank. A bit more substance would be appreciated.

  • “Lib Dems announce ‘a bold proposal to commit £ 6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system’.

    Mmmmm….. given that the welfare cuts amounted to over £ 18 billion per year between 2010-2015….. the use of the term ‘bold’ might be judged to be adman’s hyperbole.

    Source, Child Poverty Action Group.

  • 20 seats would be a very good result. We need a good number of gains to cover the losees which will in all probability include Brecon. More likely we will end up between 10 – 15. We have to contend with the electoral reality of 360 lost deposits at the last lection and the Brexit vote going primarily to the Tories in their seats. Really another election where we have to survive and try to move forward a wee bit.
    If we got 25 -30 seats I would eat my hat.

  • theakes: You may be right because the Conservative lead in the polls is so high but I hope your hat is edible. The Liberals have always depended on local variations and personalities since they ceased to be the alternative party of Government or they would not have any MPs

  • Yeovil Yokel 18th Nov '19 - 11:26am

    You’d better make that a pork pie hat, theakes, recent polling analyses on politicalbetting.com puts the LDs in the mid-to-high 30’s, and that may well be the low point in this campaign.
    Jane Dodds is defending a fairly small majority in Brecon & Radnorshire, but I don’t see her seat as being especially vulnerable – do you say that, theakes, because seats won in by-elections have a history of being lost in subsequent Gen. Elections?
    Perhaps I’m indulging in wishful thinking, but I’ve gained the impression from perusing the various forms of media during the last few days that the LD campaign looks much better compared to the aloofness/confusion/vagueness of the Tory & Labour policy pronouncements, and we may be turning a corner. In a few days we’ll be half-way through the campaign, let’s see if the opinion polls start to shift.

  • Peter Martin: Lib Dems have ruled out any sort of deal with the Tories.

  • Paul Barker 18th Nov '19 - 1:14pm

    “Polling” is giving us 2 very different pictures; individual Constituency Polls in Seats we are Targeting shows us pushing ahead of Labour & sometimes in the lead, National Polling has us being squeezed, albeit from a higher base than in 2017.
    We cant flood every Seat, we cant fight on The National Stage unless we can get Jo seen, thats why we are in Court today, fighting to be heard.
    The present situation is unstable, fragile. The Tories & Labour are getting mountains of reluctant, grudging support based on The “Fact” that there is no alternative. We can shatter that phony Stalemate if The Media will let us.

  • David Allen 18th Nov '19 - 1:38pm

    “Let’s see if the opinion polls start to shift.” Well, the latest two on bbc polltracker give us 13% and 11%. That trend won’t get turned around unless we radically change our stance.

    Peter Martin is right, the only way to stop Brexit is to find a way to work with Labour. We can’t make an instant U-turn. But here are some things we could do:

    1. We could concentrate all our fire on Johnson. If asked why we were leaving Corbyn alone, the answer would be that he is never going to win an outright victory, so there is just no need to worry about (for example) the nationalised broadband proposals, because they will never happen. We can argue that it is vital we deny Johnson an overall majority because the nation is not safe in the control of a liar and charlatan who wants to sell Britain to Donald Trump.

    2. Or to go further – We could, for example, declare that we could only contemplate working with Labour if Ed Davey took the role of Chancellor and imposed rigorous controls on tax and spending. That would deal with the greatest concern most people have about a Labour government, their likely financial irresponsibility and muddle. Of course Labour would say “Never” to which the answer would be “You wait until you need Lib Dem votes to get into government, and we’ll bet you give a different answer”. Of course the Tories would say “Labour will cheat you!” to which the answer would be “We wouldn’t let them, we could just walk away if they tried it on.”

    I’d go for option 2. At least please Lib Dems consider option 1.

  • Paul Barker 18th Nov '19 - 2:37pm

    Currently we are being squeezed in The National Polls, probably to around 14% “Now” but thats not because Voters like what they see in The Tories or Labour, its because we are being squeezed out of The National Media. Johnson & Corbyn are propping each other up.

  • There may some disparity between national and constituency polls, however think the poorest national polls were more recent and best from weekend polls under constituency format is 15%(though Survation showing LD down 4 pts is by telephone rather than usual online) Whilst may be able to buck trend in some areas squeeze appears to be on and really need to get back in the game. Whatever the outcome of the court case Jo Swinson will not be debating on Tuesday as ITV have announced they will pull the debate if it goes against them (even if that would be an outrage) Can criticise mainstream media to a degree with their coverage but social media also a factor and it seems not the best in cutting through. The Ad on Skills wallets for instance did not seem meaningful to many outside of the party faithful.

    Obviously, it is coming to the main phase of the campaign so things can change but some voters will be voting well before election day, really need to consider the strategy. Whilst we have been criticising Conservatives as well as Labour agree have not been vocal enough on the threat from a Majority Boris Johnston Government.

    Cannot agree that around 20 seats would be a good result (not so long ago Peter Kellner thought around 40 was possible though that looks a challenge now)

  • Bill le Breton 18th Nov '19 - 4:27pm

    You are not looking closely at the polls – Pollsters are taking the raw data and then marking down (deweighting) the Under 35 voters … the bulk of the Remainers – arguing that only a third of these will actually vote. Yesonly a third!

    They may be wrong – but let’s leave nothing to chance. Our job is to get the under 35 vote up to 80% It is the most effective use of our resources (bangs for bucks). See my reasoning in a comment here: https://www.libdemvoice.org/18-november-2019-the-overnight-press-release-62652.html#comments

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