24 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Drop in overseas visitors points to support need for tourism
  • Care sector is facing a new crisis as we emerge from lockdown – Davey
  • Scrap costly Police & Crime Commissioners
  • PM’s refusal to learn lessons shows why immediate inquiry is essential

Drop in overseas visitors points to support need for tourism

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has called for more support to help the tourism sector as ONS statistics published today revealing there were 1.4 million visits to the UK by overseas visitors in March 2020, 54% fewer than in March 2019.

The Party has previously pushed for a review into the impact of coronavirus on the sector, to take into account options such as an extension of the furlough, grants and loans schemes until 2021.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

Countless businesses are facing serious financial hardship and many more are worried about job losses, particularly across the tourism sector.

With half the usual footfall from flights in March, which we know has been worse since, Ministers must see this as a reminder that the tourism industry must be given the tools it needs to recover.

That is why Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend furlough support until it is safe and create and enhance bespoke packages for sectors like hospitality, leisure and culture.

Care sector is facing a new crisis as we emerge from lockdown – Davey

Today the Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has warned that the care sector is facing a new crisis in care as we emerge from the national lockdown.

ONS figures released today show the shocking number of people who have either received reduced or cancelled care since the beginning of lockdown. Of those who received care before the lockdown for physical or mental health conditions, 30% reported they had received some reduced treatment and 21% reported that their treatment had been cancelled.

Even before the coronavirus crisis there were over 100k vacancies in the care sector and the Government is yet to provide extra money to local authorities to deal with the coronavirus crisis as promised in March.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Whilst millions people are now starting to get back something close to their normal life many have been left behind. Through the lockdown thousands of people could not get the care they need for both physical and mental health conditions.

Now the lockdown is over their support is still not what it was before and their condition may have deteriorated. This has taken a huge toll on people throughout our communities. If the Government does not take immediate action, we will face yet another crisis in our care sector.

The immediate gap in social care funding must be plugged, now. Government must also work with all parties – and with local government – to build a sustainable future for social care services across the country.

Scrap costly Police & Crime Commissioners

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for Police and Crime Commissioners to be scrapped, after FOI requests reveal PCCs have spent almost £9million on PR and staffing costs in the last four years.

The FOIs reveal that the PCC for Dyfed Powys increased their PR spend by over 280% in one year and the PCC for South Wales has nearly doubled their staffing budget over five years.

With Gwent Police unable to provide staffing costs for the four-year period and North Wales Police unable to provide the costs for the 2016-2018 period, it means the overall expenditure will well exceed the current £8.9 million total.

In response, the Welsh Lib Dems have said the priority should instead be on getting police tackling crime on our streets and called for scrapping the role of Police and Crime Commissioners and for the full devolution of justice and policing to Wales.

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

Police and Crime Commissioners on paper have some merit. However, in reality what we have seen is they are excessively bureaucratic, politicise our police forces and take resources away from front line policing.

Our approach to policing and criminal justice needs to be rooted in the evidence, not on the basis of political rhetoric and electioneering.

We need to scrap these costly roles and fight for powers over policing to be devolved to Wales so we can adopt an effective, liberal and community-based approach to tackling crime.

PM’s refusal to learn lessons shows why immediate inquiry is essential

Responding to the Prime Minister’s interview with Laura Kuenssberg broadcast this afternoon, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

At last Boris Johnson has admitted what we have all known for sometime – this Government made fundamental mistakes in their handling of the coronavirus crisis. However, to try and minimise this as there were some things they could have done differently is not only an enormous understatement, but it is an insult to all those who tragically lost loved ones to the virus.

This interview has left people with more questions than answers. With no remorse for the catastrophic mistakes, such as the failure to protect our care homes, or the refusal to put a comprehensive plan in place for a potential second wave, it is clear the Prime Minster has learnt nothing over the course of the last few months.

Boris Johnson’s comments today prove why an immediate independent inquiry is so essential. The Prime Minister and his Government must be faced with the reality of where they went wrong, so that they can learn from their mistakes which have led to tragic consequences.

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  • The LD’s must start developing policies that could actually deliver against environmental targets.

    >Drop in overseas visitors points to support need for tourism
    Once again the knee jerk reaction…
    If we are serious about reducing carbon and becoming a more planet friendly and sustaiable society then as demonstrated by lockdown, reducing unessential travel is a quick and simple win.

    There is much that we can learn from the experience of lockdown that aren’t anything to do with CoVid19 but have lots to do with downsizing our economy and (dramatically) reducing our footprint.

  • Yep, can’t have it both ways… LibDems should be promoting cycling holidays in the UK, no cars allowed at any point, as well as saving the planet will also improve fitness and lower obesity. Plenty of work for people as well, laying new cycling and walking routes throughout the country instead of airport runways and new motorways.

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