29 September 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: Truss must cancel Conservative conference to deal with economic crisis
  • Revealed: 32 crumbling hospital buildings including in PM’s backyard
  • Truss in complete denial on BBC Local Radio round
  • Liz Truss refuses to guarantee people’s pensions are safe
  • Fracking interview: Truss shows contempt for rural communities

Davey: Truss must cancel Conservative conference to deal with economic crisis

Ed Davey demands Liz Truss and her ministers spend time fixing the budget as new research finds Government energy bill support will be wiped out by higher mortgage bills

Typical family faces £2,000 rise in mortgage bills following last week’s disastrous budget

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has called on Liz Truss to cancel the Conservative party conference this weekend, and instead recall Parliament to vote to fix the disastrous mini-budget. The party is also calling on the Government to bring forward a rescue package for homeowners unable to pay higher mortgage bills as a result of last week’s budget.

Ahead of the energy price cap rising on Saturday (1st October), new analysis by the Liberal Democrats reveals the predicted rise in mortgage bills is more than double what the Government has offered to support households with their energy bills.

The Government has pledged to freeze energy prices at £2,500 for the average household, which would have equated to around £1,000 support for the average household.

However, the fallout from last week’s budget is predicted to force the Bank of England to raise interest rates to as much as 5% next year, costing the average mortgage borrower on a Standard Variable Rate a staggering £2,100 per year. Those on an average tracker mortgage would face an even higher annual increase of £3,000 per year if interest rates rise to the predicted 5% next year.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

There is no way the Conservative Party can hold their conference whilst the British economy nosedives. The arrogance of Liz Truss and Conservative Ministers is frankly an insult to millions who now face higher bills as a direct result of last week’s budget. From this weekend they will abandon their posts in Downing Street, leaving a mess behind them and heading for the cocktail parties and mutual back-patting of the classic conference season.

In one fell swoop, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng crashed the economy, trashed the pound and paved the way for record interest rate rises.

Innocent mortgage borrowers will be left to pick up the bill of this gross incompetence. It is time Parliament is recalled and new measures passed to save families and pensioners unable to cope with this mortgage crisis. This botched budget cannot survive any longer.

Revealed: 32 crumbling hospital buildings including in PM’s backyard

  • Dangerous roofs not set to be replaced until 2035, Freedom of Information request reveals.
  • Hospitals in the Prime Minister’s and Health Secretary’s local areas have roofs at risk of collapse.
  • Liberal Democrats call on Government to fix the budget to save NHS from real-terms cuts amid rising inflation

32 hospital buildings across the country are fitted with dangerous roofs at risk of sudden collapse, data uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The Freedom of Information request has revealed that 32 buildings at 19 NHS Trusts are fitted with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which is said to be ‘structurally weaker’, ‘lightweight’ and ‘cheaper’ than a regular fitting. NHS England has also revealed that the dangerous roofs are not set to be fully replaced until 2035.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, near Liz Truss’s constituency, is the worst in the country with four buildings fitted with the dangerous material. The chief executive of the hospital has previously likened the material to a “chocolate Aero bar” with bubbles that could break and collapse at any point. Liz Truss this morning refused to guarantee that the hospital would be fixed in an interview with BBC Norfolk, adding that she couldn’t make any promises on the Health Secretary’s behalf.

West Suffolk Hospital, based near the Health Secretary Therese Coffey’s constituency, also has two buildings fitted with dangerous roofs.

The Liberal Democrats are demanding the Government provide hospitals with emergency funds to replace dangerous roofs. The party is also calling on the Government to fix its botched budget which could lead to devastating real-terms spending cuts for the NHS and other public services.

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP said:

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s first budget prioritised slashing taxes for the big banks over fixing crumbling hospitals. There was a deafening silence from Government over how it intends to deal with dangerous ambulance wait times or lack of local NHS dentists, let alone buildings at risk of collapse.

The government must go back and fix this budget to give the NHS the funds it needs to cope with spiraling inflation.

This is a disaster waiting to happen and the Prime Minister just doesn’t seem to care. It is a national scandal that successive health ministers have not even bothered to replace dangerous roofs which put patients and staff at risk.

The Government should apologise to dedicated nurses and doctors who for too long have worked in fear that the roof may collapse at any moment.

Truss in complete denial on BBC Local Radio round

Responding to Liz Truss’s BBC Local Radio media round this morning, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Liz Truss is in complete denial about the damage caused by her reckless and out of touch budget.

She failed to offer any reassurance to people who are worried sick about the impact on their mortgages, pensions and bills. Instead the Prime Minister is digging in with this totally disastrous approach that only benefits the very wealthiest while the vast majority suffer.

Every day this government refuses to admit its mistakes risks doing more irreparable damage to our economy while people are left terrified about losing their homes. It’s time for Liz Truss to cancel the Conservative party conference, recall Parliament and focus on fixing this mess.

Liz Truss refuses to guarantee people’s pensions are safe

Responding to Liz Truss refusing twice to guarantee on BBC Bristol this morning that people’s pensions are safe, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

It beggars belief that Liz Truss repeatedly failed to guarantee that people’s pensions will be safe. The Conservatives under Liz Truss have thrown away any shred of economic competence they had left.

She failed to offer any reassurance to people who are worried sick about the impact of this budget on their pensions, mortgages and bills. Instead the Prime Minister is digging in with this totally disastrous approach that only benefits the very wealthiest while the vast majority suffer.

Fracking interview: Truss shows contempt for rural communities

Responding to Liz Truss’ failure to answer questions on ensuring local consent for fracking in an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire, Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP said:

Truss’ excruciating inability to answer even the most basic questions shows her talk of local consent is a sham. From Surrey and Sussex to Somerset and Shropshire, people are anxious that they will soon be part of a hair-brained experiment, with no say at all.

Her own scientists refuse to say it’s safe, her own chancellor says it won’t bring down prices and we all know it will only worsen the climate emergency. Why is the Prime Minister determined to impose such destruction on the British public?

Once again Truss has revealed her contempt for rural communities. Their concerns: over water pollution, climate change, and the destruction of their local countryside are viewed as irrelevant by the Prime Minister.

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One Comment

  • David Evans 30th Sep '22 - 8:03am

    Opinion Polls tell us that this Conservative incompetence has led to a massive collapse of support for that party, while Labour’s support has increased even more. The most recent polls show Conservative support having further collapsed to between 21% and 29% – down by around 20% on 2019, Labour exploiting the publicity it has gained at between 46% & 54% – up about 17%, while the Lib Dems languish around 10% down 2% on average.

    Labour’s conference shows it in an ebullient mood, taking the attack to the Conservatives while we, who have cancelled our conference are once again almost unnoticed. Ed is saying what he can but his position is little different from Labour’s and is not cutting through.

    Ed would do much better to demand that Federal Board arranges an Emergency Special Conference as soon as possible so that we can debate and develop a real Lib Dem response to the nightmare our country faces.

    The TUC rearranged its conference barely a month later. Why can’t we?

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