18 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Swinson: Tories posturing over UK aid is shameless

Following the Taxpayers’ Alliance launch of their report attacking elements of UK aid, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Jo Swinson MP said:

The UK should be incredibly proud of what our aid budget has achieved across the world. Between April 2015 and March 2018 alone, UK aid provided humanitarian assistance to a staggering 26.8 million people, including at least 8.2 million women and girls.

Through the Department for International Development and its work with multilateral organisations, UK aid not only changes lives but does so in a transparent and effective way: DFID is consistently ranked amongst world leaders in aid transparency.

Despite this success, Conservative MPs have repeatedly attacked UK aid. Priti Patel and the Taxpayers’ Alliance are the latest example of this shameless posturing.

Enshrining the 0.7% aid commitment in law was one of the Liberal Democrats’ greatest achievements in Government and we will continue to fight against efforts to weaken the effectiveness and success of UK aid.

Give interns contracts and a wage urge Lib Dems

Scottish Liberal Democrat Economy and Fair Work spokesperson Katy Gordon has today called for all internships or work placements that last for more than four weeks to be treated as employment, requiring a contract and the National Minimum Wage.

At the Liberal Democrat spring conference in York yesterday, the party debated a policy motion put forward by Young Liberals calling for the measures, with Ms Gordon speaking in favour.

Speaking after the vote Ms Gordon said:

Internships are a valuable opportunity to develop skills and experience with a view to pursuing a career in a sector.

But too often these are exploited by unscrupulous employers or remain limited to only those individuals with access to savings, preventing anyone but the wealthy from accessing these opportunities.

Liberal Democrats demand better. That’s why we are calling for all work experience placements that last for more than four weeks to be treated as employment, requiring a contract and the National Minimum Wage, as well as better enforcement of existing law to ensure that voluntary roles are truly voluntary.

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