28 March 2019 – today’s press releases

My apologies for lateness this evening, as I’ve been distracted by the Opening Day of the 2019 baseball season. And, as my beloved Cincinnati Reds won, I’m in a good mood…

Tories have pushed 200,000 children into poverty

The number of children living in absolute poverty across the UK has risen by 200,000 in a year, to a total of 3.7 million.

Responding to the government data release, Liberal Democrat DWP Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This government should be absolutely ashamed of itself for presiding over the first increase in absolute child poverty in six years.

The main culprits – the benefits freeze, the arbitrary two-child limit, and huge cuts to Universal Credit – were policy decisions, not accidents. Yet what would normally be front-page news has been buried by the never ending chaos of Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats refuse to let the Conservatives get away with destroying the life prospects of 200,000 innocent children.

That is why we are calling for the full reversal of cuts to Universal Credit work allowances, the abolition of the cruel two-child limit, and the creation of a second earner’s work allowance so that both parents in a couple are rewarded for work.

Commons vote will not solve Tory divisions

Responding to the news that the Prime Minister will once again attempt to get her withdrawal agreement through the Commons, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael said:

Liberal Democrats are clear: whether this deal passes tomorrow or not, Brexit must be put to the public. It should be the people, not politicians, who are given the final say on the deal with the option to stay in the EU.

Yet again the Conservatives are using the House of Commons to paper over the cracks in their own party. Their problem is that these cracks are too deep for paper.

In 2017 Theresa May lost her majority. Since then she has lost her credibility. Surely the time has come for her to lose her job.

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8 Comments

  • I’m sorry Christine, I know that as a recently appointed spokesperson you’re not directly responsible. I also know you’re batting on a sticky wicket.

    But…… I have to say child poverty in working families has risen by a million since 2010 for a combination of reasons most of which are to do with decisions made by a government of which the Lib Dem’s were a part. The food bank which I Chair in Scotland started in 2013…… not 2015. To blame it all on the Tories is a partial truth.

    Sadly, the local government by-election in Clackmannanshire yesterday (Lib Dem 1.7% and sixth place behind UKIP and the Greens) seems to indicate this is a general understanding.

  • David Raw 29th Mar ’19 – 1:30pm…

    Well done, David. My post, on austerity, containing just one sentence mentioning 2010-15, was removed.

  • @David Raw

    I was expecting as much praise from you (well perhaps not!) for Christine as for your heroine Heidi Allen, Change UK’s interim leader who voted for the £5 billion of benefit cuts post 2015. May be not as much change from this Tory Government by Change UK as their name implies.

    As to the Clackmannanshire result – the previews on Britain Elects indicates that we have NEVER stood there – well certainly at least not since 2007. So this is a step forward for us – albeit a small one.

    https://britainelects.com/2019/03/27/previews-28-mar-2019/

  • @ Michael 1. I’m still waiting for you to withdraw your recent statement that comments I made about universal credit were ‘inaccurate’.

    Given my Council area was amongst the first cohort to implement UC and that I have almost daily experience of it through the Foodbank, I’d like to know what specialist experience and knowledge you have that qualifies you to say this. My expectations that you will do so are low given your self imposed anonymity and the general tenor of most of your remarks particularly the most recent on about Ms Allen.

    After almost sixty years supporting the Liberal Party and its successor, i can tell you that it would be a refreshing change if it was fully frank about events since 2010. Until it is people won’t listen.

  • I, of course apologise for any inaccuracy and for a slightly sarcastic remark in this thread. But Christine and other Lib Dems did not vote for Osborne’s extra £5 billion of welfare cuts in 2015.

    In general those that blame universal credit pre-2015 in itself for any increase in foodbank use are wrong. There were few pilot areas, few were forced to go on universal credit – so many that did were better off than on the traditional benefits and UC was more generous until Osborne’s cuts. Wikipedia for example reports that 2,150 people had been signed up in four pilot areas by December 2013.

    We were tougher than I would have liked on benefits. With a deficit of £100 billion a year there were no easy solutions. And whoever’s fault the massive deficit was it was not ours.

    Welfare cuts of course hit people, tax increases do as well as some do affect lower paid (and we did introduce the increased personal allowance) and borrowing may mean less money available in the future. Broadly – although not absolutely – all three parties would have tackled the deficit in much the same way post 2010.

  • Michael 1. Read my first sentence……… and thanks for admitting your experience is limited to reading and quoting from Wikipedia as your source – an automatic fail if you’d been submitting a university essay by the way.

  • Peter Hirst 31st Mar '19 - 6:26pm

    Is there a connection between your two posts, Mark? The Conservatives are only well aware that their policies are increasing the inequality of this country. Perhaps they hope that their Brexit shambles is hiding this and other policies from the media and public.

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