2 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Umunna: Johnson Brexit policy will result in £90bn hit to the public purse

The Chancellor has today confirmed that the Government is already having to hold back £26-27 billion of fiscal headroom to deal with the disastrous impact of a No Deal exit from the European Union, and that even more than that will be needed. Furthermore, the Government’s own analysis shows that a disruptive No Deal Brexit will hit the public purse by £90 billion as a minimum.

Commenting on the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s remarks, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Treasury and Business, Chuka Umunna MP, said:

Boris Johnson plans to give a tax cut of £9bn to the richest ten percent, while at the same time robbing the Exchequer and public services of ten times that amount.

Such a move is completely unjustified, out of touch, and demonstrates exactly the kind of priorities he intends to have as Prime Minister.

The Liberal Democrats are the only political party committed to stopping Brexit, the ultimate anti-austerity policy. Only the Liberal Democrats will work to ensure everyone can access the opportunities new technologies bring, and that we have healthy competitive markets where power is not concentrated in the hands of a few.

Lib Dems: Next Prime Minister must stand up for people of Hong Kong

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael MP, today urged the PM hopefuls to ensure that there is an independent investigation into police violence against Hong Kong citizens on 12 June.

Alistair Carmichael used his Urgent Question in the House of Commons today to also reemphasise the urgent need to secure the absolute withdrawal of the dangerous proposed Extradition Bill.

Speaking after his Urgent Question, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

The protestors who have taken to the streets of Hong Kong over the last few weeks, including those who marched yesterday, have been overwhelmingly peaceful and respectful. They should be proud of their role in upholding democracy in Hong Kong.

The Conservative Government must now stand up and be counted. Both of the candidates to be Prime Minister have held the role of Foreign Secretary: they should therefore have a thorough understanding of our promise to the people of Hong Kong.

The Conservative government has a duty to ensure that there is an independent investigation into the police violence of 12th June, as well as secure the absolute withdrawal of the dangerous Extradition Bill once and for all.

We made a promise to the people of Hong Kong in 1997. Whoever the next Prime Minister is must honour that and protect democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Lib Dems: Tories must stop shunting funding cuts onto councils

Today, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has led the Estimates Day debate for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s spending on behalf of the Public Accounts Committee.

In the debate, Layla Moran said:

Local government spending is a story of unsustainability and inequality. According to the Local Government Association, funding to local government and business rates has fallen by £4.1 billion since 2015.

We need to end false economies in local government spending, focusing on the long term.

Local government is vital – it’s the coalface – where real policy meets real people. I hope today’s debate will be a clarion call to central government; local government may not always be sexy, but it is significant.

Following the debate Layla Moran commented:

As knife crime continues to rise, our elderly fail to get the care they need and our children struggle to get a proper education, it is clear that the Tories are ignoring the biggest issues this country is facing.

Local government is crucial for our communities, it’s the glue that keeps them together. Rather than funding vital services properly, the Conservative Government is cutting them to the bone.

Whether it is children’s services, adult social care, special educational needs provision or our youth clubs, the Tories are under-funding them to critical levels and passing the burden on to local government to fund through council tax.

It is time the Conservatives stopped ignoring the crises they’ve caused, and woke up to the realities of government. The Liberal Democrats would not only majorly re-invest in our communities, but also focus much more on prevention when it comes to local government spending. This cost shunting by central government to local authorities must come to an end.

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  • Richard Underhill 3rd Jul '19 - 9:21am

    The Foreign Secretary and his predecessor were in Northern Ireland yesterday but there is little information about what they said. Well informed questioning about the backstop was expected but today’s news only mentions what Boris has promised about the sugar tax and the effects on obesity.
    Ian Dale, a former Tory candidate defeated by Norman Lamb, was briefly on Newsnight and said little about the questions and nothing about the answers.
    He expressed his own opinion that Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats should campaign and stand for election in Northern Ireland. Thank you Ian, we will decide on whether we do.
    Our friends in the Alliance Party are doing well with good results in local elections and the election of their leader Naomi Long as one of three MEPs for Northern Ireland.
    Newsnight did not ask Ian Dale for any comment on whether Ian Paisley Junior should or would be recalled, nor on any prospects for restoring democracy to the elected devolved assembly. BBC Northern Ireland ‘Spotlight’ had a report about the Maldives.
    Recent history includes David Cameron, then UK PM, wanting to merge the Conservative Party with the Unionists, then led by David Trimble, who is now a Conservative peer. One Unionist MP declared that “I am NOT a Conservative!!!”. She has been re-elected as an MP and corrects DUP MPs if they stray from fact into opinion.
    I recall John Hume MP, then leader of the SDLP, saying that he was not entitled to vote as a young adult living in the parental home because he did not have a property qualification (a different system from England, Scotland and Wales).

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