5 April 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s been a pleasant evening in our small, but perfectly formed, village. There’s been beer, some splendid homemade sausage rolls, and a quiz (our team won!). Sadly, the real world has a nasty way of reasserting itself…

  • Brake: Yet another desperate move from a failing PM
  • Pupil Decelopment Grant Access extended to support more families
  • Breakdown of talks with Corbyn signals closing time for May’s Deal

Brake: Yet another desperate move from a failing PM

Responding to the news that the PM has written to the EU calling for a short extension of Article 50, already rejected by the EU, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

This is yet another desperate move from a failing Prime Minister.

The EU has been clear that we must have a clear purpose for any extension.

The Conservative Government must ask for an extension of Article 50 in order to hold a People’s Vote. This will be acceptable to the EU and give the people the chance to either vote for her deal or stay in the EU, and help us to get out of this mess once and for all.

Pupil Decelopment Grant Access extended to support more families

Speaking ahead of Welsh Liberal Democrat conference, Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced a £3.4m boost of the PDG-Access scheme to support families meet the costs of the school day.

The announcement will provide support to an additional 14,000 learners.

Introduced in 2018, PDG-Access helps families cover the costs of school uniform, sports kits, as well as equipment for activities outside of the school. To receive the support, learners must be eligible for free school meals.

Currently, PDG-Access is worth £125 per eligible pupil entering reception class in primary school or Year 7. Today’s announcement means the scheme will be extended to include Year 3 and Year 10, and provide funding for looked after children (LAC) in every compulsory school year. Eligible families of Year 7 pupils will receive £200, instead of the current £125; relieving some of the increased costs associated with starting secondary school.

Extending the PDG was a key part of the Progressive Agreement between the First Minister and Kirsty Williams.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

The Pupil Development Grant (PDG) is a key Welsh Liberal Democrat policy that supports our most disadvantaged pupils. I am delighted we have been able to extend the policy further to support families with the cost of uniforms and school equipment.

This, alongside Kirsty Williams’ pledge to introduce statutory guidance to reduce the cost of schools uniforms, will go a long way in supporting families.

Kirsty Williams AM said:

Breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage is paramount, and at the heart of our national mission to raise standards for all our learners.

The additional money announced today will mean that more learners will be eligible for funding, and more money will be available for parents of children transitioning from primary to secondary, which as we all know can be an expensive time.

Breakdown of talks with Corbyn signals closing time for May’s Deal

Responding to the news that talks between Corbyn and May have broken down, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake MP said:

The beer and sandwiches approach the Prime Minister took appears to have failed.

Brexit is a national embarrassment and needs to be put out of its misery.

There is a clear way for the PM to get her deal through parliament and that is by putting it to the people with the option to stay in the EU.

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