26 October 2022 – today’s press releases

Apologies for the lateness of the hour – I was trawling through my ballot paper for the Party’s internal elections…

  • Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry
  • Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone
  • Fiscal plan delay leaves families in a cloud of uncertainty
  • Concerns Over Welsh Government Housing Targets
  • PMQs: PM refuses to commit to 40 new hospitals
  • Scrapping triple lock would be a betrayal of pensioners

Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have called for a Cabinet Office inquiry into the appointment of Suella Braverman to Home Secretary after she was sacked for breaching the ministerial code.

Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Suella Braverman’s appointment makes a mockery of Rishi Sunak’s claims to be bringing integrity to Number 10.

There must be a full independent inquiry by the Cabinet Office into her appointment, including any promises Sunak made to her behind closed doors.

If it is confirmed that Suella Braverman repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security, she must be sacked.

A Home Secretary who broke the rules is not fit for a Home Office which keeps the rules.

Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone

  • 108 NHS trusts miss the two week cancer referral target (72% of all trusts).
  • Top 10 worst places for cancer referrals revealed.
  • Lib Dems call on the Government to bring forward an urgent plan to improve cancer care after NHS targets missed.

New analysis of the latest NHS data by the Liberal Democrats has revealed the worst places in the country to see a cancer specialist within two weeks after being referred by a GP.

A staggering 62,360 people had to wait more than two weeks to see a cancer specialist after a GP referral in August alone.

Despite the Government setting a target of 93% of patients seeing a cancer specialist after a referral, just 30 NHS trusts met the target. Some trusts only managed to see one third of people in time, as a post-code lottery is revealed.

The Liberal Democrats have revealed the top 10 worst places for cancer referrals in the country. Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust is the worst, where only 34% of people were seen within two weeks of a referral.

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This grim postcode lottery is a national scandal. The evidence tells us how critical a speedy cancer diagnosis is yet thousands of people are left waiting far too long. The sheer number of people anxiously waiting is completely unacceptable.

Our health services cannot be ignored any longer. The Government must prioritise resources to clear record backlogs, slash dangerously long ambulance waiting times, and solve the healthcare postcode lottery.

All we’ve had from this Government is broken promise after broken promise. It is time for real action.

Fiscal plan delay leaves families in a cloud of uncertainty

Responding to the news of the fiscal event being delayed until the 17th of November, Treasury spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, Sarah Olney MP said:

This delay risks leaving mortgage borrowers, pensioners and struggling families under a damaging cloud of uncertainty.

Rishi Sunak must confirm now that benefits and pensions will be up-rated in line with inflation, and there will be no cuts to our NHS and other crucial public services.

Sunak was installed by Conservative MPs into Number 10 without anyone voting for him, and without telling anyone about his plans for the country.

The public deserve to know immediately what lies in store, and that they will not be made to pay for the Conservative Party trashing our economy.

Concerns Over Welsh Government Housing Targets

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have expressed concern after it emerged almost 90,000 households (200,000 people) are now on the social housing list. This is an increase of 40% from 2018 when it was at 65,000.

The Party states that Welsh Government figures show that housebuilding appears to have fallen this year and that Labour is allowing progress to stall. Welsh Government figures released at the start of this month show 1,232 new homes were built between April and June, 27% less than the same quarter of 2019.

If this rate was replicated throughout the whole of 2022, 4,928 homes would be completed far below the median estimated annual need of 7,400.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

These figures are seriously concerning.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are proud that during the last Government we were able to use our influence to build 20,000 affordable homes by 2021. However, it now feels like Labour is letting these targets slip through their fingers.

People across Wales deserve a place to call home and that shouldn’t be an unachievable aspiration. What we are seeing now is generations of people, particularly younger people being unable to move out of their parent’s or relatives’ house and being unable to have an independent life of their own. This is not to mention the number of people being forced to move away from their home town.

Policies such as increasing taxation on second homes is welcome, but are not a silver bullet. To beat the housing crisis we need to see a higher number of homes being built and we need to see the Welsh Government work closely with local authorities to create the policies that enable housing (both social and private) to be built.

PMQs: PM refuses to commit to 40 new hospitals

Rishi Sunak today refused to commit to building the 40 new hospitals promised in the Conservative manifesto, in response to a question from Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper at PMQs.

The Prime Minister instead said the “Chancellor will set out plans in the Autumn Statement.” It comes despite his pledge yesterday to deliver on the promises made in the 2019 Conservative manifesto in his first speech outside Downing Street.

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak is on track to break a key manifesto promise by refusing to commit to building 40 new hospitals.

These days the Conservative manifesto isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Anything less than a cast iron guarantee and cash in the bank will pave the way for another broken promise on our NHS.

As hospital roofs are at risk of collapsing and waiting lists spiral out of control, we desperately need these new hospitals. There can be no backtracking on promises made.

Scrapping triple lock would be a betrayal of pensioners

Responding to Number 10 refusing to commit to the triple lock on pensions, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain said:

Rishi Sunak stood on the steps of Downing Street yesterday pledging to rebuild trust and stick to the promises made in the Conservative manifesto. But already he’s preparing to tear up his party’s promise on the pensions triple lock, while slashing welfare support for the most vulnerable.

This endless hokey cokey from the Conservatives is leaving pensioners and struggling families in a desperate limbo.

It shows this Conservative government can’t be trusted and is totally out of touch with people trying to make ends meet.

Struggling families and pensioners shouldn’t be made to pay for the Conservatives wrecking the economy with their disastrous budget.

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7 Comments

  • Look on the bright side: he’s reinstated the ban on fracking and if commonsense continues to prevail he’ll also terminate HS2, a saving of over £2bn pa.

  • Helen Dudden 27th Oct '22 - 9:26am

    Until anyone is brave enough, with 7 million a day spent on hotels and for a start the Albanian numbers. Albania wishes to join the EU.
    I don’t feel it fair that Serco is trying to buy contracts, we have a severe housing problem.

  • George Thomas 27th Oct '22 - 11:33am

    After the cladding scandal and ‘difficulty’ Welsh Labour have had in response to that, I think calls for higher number of affordable homes being built should include the word “quality”.

    Home being built in flood-risk areas aren’t needed; homes built to such a poor standard they boil in summer and freeze in winter aren’t needed; homes stuck anywhere without thinking of what estates need to become communities aren’t needed.

  • nigel hunter 27th Oct '22 - 12:04pm

    He knows there will not be 40 new hospitals and is finding a way out of that mess.More than likely the money will be found to repair the hospital roofs.

  • nigel hunter 27th Oct '22 - 12:23pm

    The housing problem, nation wide, will not be solved until a radical decision is made re using all brown land sites,land being ‘sat on’ and planning regulations are altered. A possibility? Let a small builders construct, one single bed one 2 bed and one 3 bed home for the council.These can be rented out for10 years then they can be sold to the tenant when their income improves.Sold houses are replaced.Serious new thinking has to be put in place.If not, the streets will be full of homeless people and overfull houses.

  • nigel hunter 27th Oct '22 - 12:32pm

    Migration will not stop until there needs are met at home.That is food in the belly.A home to live in.A job,Security.That is a need for stable govnt in their countries and FORIEGN AID being re-introduced, targetted to the specific targets.Albanians coming into the EU etc is them jumping the gun for that new life.When their and other countries are secure they will be more amenable to return home to where they come from.Again radical thinking can alleviate the problem and not give the ‘foriegn haters’ the weapon they have to denegrate others

  • >re using all brown land sites

    How to create brown land:
    1. Find a nice piece of green field land ripe for housing.
    2. Get permission for the temporary use of this land as a storage yard for road maintenance etc.
    3. Use land for road maintenance, so create a few piles of rubble, which get left behind.
    4. After a few months apply for planning permission on the now brownfield land.

    Other methods are available hence why they has been a seemingly inexhaustible supply of brownfield land.

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