6 February 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak interview: Most people worry when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill, the PM does not even register it
  • PopCon: Tory MPs at launch pocketed £85,000 in severance payments
  • Dental plan “too little too late” for people desperately queuing in Bristol
  • “No child deserves to go hungry”- Welsh Lib Dems
  • Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds urges for more support for rural GP’s
  • “Simply papering over the cracks in our services”- Welsh Lib Dems

Sunak interview: Most people worry when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill, the PM does not even register it

Responding to the Prime Minister’s interview this morning, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak either does not care or does not get it. As the Prime Minister buries his head in the sand and pretends everything is fine, people across the country are suffering.

Most people when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill worry about how they are going to make their next mortgage payments or put food on the table for their children.

Instead, the Prime Minister does not even register the significance of that amount of money. Out of touch does not even begin to describe Sunak.

The Prime Minister’s cold soundbites that everything is working simply do not survive contact with reality.

PopCon: Tory MPs at launch pocketed £85,000 in severance payments

The Conservative MPs at today’s Popular Conservatism launch pocketed almost £85,000 in taxpayer-funded pay-outs, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The Liberal Democrats said, “This is not popular Conservatism, it’s economic vandalism.”

Liz Truss pocketed a £18,660 taxpayer payout despite previously criticising “handouts” to help with the cost of living, while Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed £16,800 despite attacking the size of the state. Other Conservative MPs who attended the event, including former Chief Whip Wendy Morton, former Home Secretary Priti Patel and ex-education minister Andrea Jenkyns, all took severance payments worth thousands of pounds. In total Conservative MPs at the event pocketed £84,955 in taxpayer-funded payouts.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

This is not popular Conservatism, it’s economic vandalism. Liz Truss and her fellow Conservative MPs crashed the economy, sent mortgages spiralling then pocketed thousands of pounds in taxpayer-funded handouts. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

The public will never forgive this chaotic Conservative Party for the damage they’ve done to people’s livelihoods and our country. The sooner we kick this Conservative government out of office the better.

Dental plan “too little too late” for people desperately queuing in Bristol

Responding to the Government’s new Dental Plan, Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

The image of hundreds of desperate people queuing outside a new dentist in Bristol tells you everything you need to know about the state of dental practices in this country.

This plan comes too little too late for those left waiting in pain for dental care or the children admitted to hospital for tooth decay. With over 12 million waiting for help, this pledge to help just 1 million is a drop in the ocean and shows the Government isn’t serious.

The Conservatives have overseen years of dental decay and now it’s people across the country who have been left to pay the price.

“No child deserves to go hungry”- Welsh Lib Dems

Today in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to do more in the fight against food poverty.

According to data from the Trussell Trust last year, 41% of households supported by food banks had children. And a staggering 43% of all distributed food parcels went to families with three or more children.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

We are facing a worsening food poverty crisis, with households with children across the country disproportionately vulnerable to food insecurities.

According to data from the Trussell Trust last year, 41% of households supported by food banks had children whilst 43% of all distributed food parcels went to families with three or more children.

The impacts of food insecurity on children are severe. Research clearly links poor childhood nutrition to increased obesity later in life with statistics from Public Health Wales showing that children in the most disadvantaged areas of Wales are 76% likelier to be obese.

Tackling this growing food insecurity crisis is critical, not only to protect our children’s health but also to prevent future pressure on the NHS.

The Welsh Labour government’s current approach lacks the foresight needed to combat this crisis.

We urgently need to develop a co-ordinated and evidence-based strategy to help us reduce food insecurity and improve childhood nutrition.

No child deserves to go hungry and every child with an empty plate is a stain on our record, we must do more.

Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds urges for more support for rural GP’s

Today in the Senedd, Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds has called for more support for rural general practitioners.

Jane Dodds MS has also called for a rural GP payment to ensure that primary care can meet local health needs.

Commenting, Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds said:

Our rural communities have been hit hard over the past few years, with cuts to vital services severely impacting access to local health care and forcing many to travel long distances.

In recent conversations with general practitioners across Powys, a common theme that has arisen is that current setup and funding models do not account for the extra services that rural surgeries must offer due to a lack of nearby alternatives.

More must be done to tailor financial and structural support so rural GPs can keep operating sustainably.

With nearly 100 surgeries in Wales closing over the past decade, we cannot risk further isolating our rural populations.

We need an urgent review into the funding arrangements for rural GPs to ensure that they can continue to meet the needs of local people.

“Simply papering over the cracks in our services”- Welsh Lib Dems

Today in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Welsh Government’s draft budget for failing to offer a long-term solution to the structural issues facing services across Wales.

The party have previously criticised the budget following its announcement last December for offering “the same old deal that leaves Wales standing still”.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

We all recognise the difficult trade-offs that the Welsh Government have had to make in the name of balancing priorities, the financial context we find ourselves in is sobering.

The UK Conservative government, through their reckless financial mismanagement, have ruined our nation’s economy whilst simultaneously giving us here in Wales very little financial backing.

However, excuses do not offer solutions and the Welsh Labour Government and their Plaid Cymru partners cannot expect to see long-term benefits from the short-term action they have offered.

The draft budget offered to us is woefully unbalanced and seems to exist only to paper over the cracks in our services instead of offering any solution to the long-term structural issues facing services across Wales.

The decision to divert hundreds of millions into emergency and critical care may alleviate our current funding pressures, but there is little evidence to suggest that it will deliver a change in outcomes or reduce the burden placed on our NHS.

Moreover, with spending outside of health around 10% lower in real terms than what it was in 2010, we risk unbalancing other priorities which could seriously backfire.

We cannot afford to be so short sighted, we need to be courageous and ambitious in offering a fair deal for all.

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This entry was posted in News, Press releases and Wales.
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14 Comments

  • Interestingly the director of this new “Popcon” group is none other than Mark Littlewood, the man who spearheaded a surprisingly well funded entryist attempt to drive our party to the right during the late 2000s.

  • David Allen 6th Feb '24 - 11:28pm

    David LG – It was a successsful “attempt”. Its real spearhead was, of course, Nick Clegg.

  • Jenny Barnes 7th Feb '24 - 9:34am

    Apparently the “popcorns” are really upset about the laws, bureaucrats, quangos etc (I’m surprised they don’t include Brussels) that are holding back the implementation of true popular conservative policies. They’ll be livid when they discover who’s been the UK governing party for the last 14 years.

  • Peter Davies 7th Feb '24 - 9:57am

    It’s the obvious response to the current opinion polls: redefine “popular” after all, it worked for “affordable” and “safe”

  • David Evans 7th Feb '24 - 11:01am

    David LG and David Allen are largely right in what they say. Mark Littlewood was involved in attempts to drive our party to the right, but that was a sub-objective, not the main one (although many involved may not have realised it).

    The ultimate objective was to undermine our success (50+ MPs and 4 to 5,000 councillors) and drive us to oblivion.

    They very nearly succeeded.

  • @ David Evans It would be interesting to know the full details of the financial links between the tobacco industry and such as Littlewood and chums.

  • @ David Evans. Mark Littlewood was appointed head of media for the Liberal Democrat Party in December 2004. He resigned from that position in May 2007.

    It would be interesting to have the full details of who appointed Littlewood in December 2004, and why, and whether said persons still have any position or influence in the party. The circumstances of his resignation in May 2007 is also a matter of interest.

    The direction the Lib Dems took post 2010 was not an accident. It was a choice.

  • Katharine Pindar 7th Feb '24 - 11:15pm

    Colleagues, Keir Starmer’s U-turn over the £28 bn proposed by his party for Green measures has to be a great opportunity for us. What are their key policies now? And what can they be relied on? People can however rely on us for well worked out and costed policies, that we can proclaim with confidence.

  • Peter Davies 8th Feb '24 - 7:21am

    The 28Bn green investment pledge was dropped because they couldn’t defend it against a charge that it would require increased taxes. If they really meant investment rather than spending (Labour have often used the words interchangeably) it would be relatively easy to find green investments that would bring returns above the cost of borrowing so no extra taxation would be necessary.

    Our policies on the other hand clearly do require increased taxes. We need to make it clear what those would be and have a robust argument for them.

  • Peter Martin 8th Feb '24 - 11:00am

    ” it would be relatively easy to find green investments that would bring returns above the cost of borrowing so no extra taxation would be necessary.”

    It works like this for your local council but not for central government.

    Any government, which includes its wholly owned central bank, can borrow at whatever interest rates it chooses to. If it wants 0%, it can have 0%. So, does this mean that the return on investment also only needs to be 0% for the process to be macro-economicaly neutral?

    It really all depends on how many extra resources the spending consumes compared to the available resources in the economy. If there is an imbalance there could be inflationary consequences and increased taxation could be required to free up extra resources.

    This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t have £28 bn of extra green spending! However, it is just about impossible to know whether extra taxation will be required several years hence. It will depend on the state of the economy at the time.

  • David Allen 8th Feb '24 - 12:52pm

    “Keir Starmer’s U-turn over the £28 bn proposed by his party for Green measures has to be a great opportunity for us”

    An opportunity which is not being taken. Everybody else – Greens, SNP, Momentum, and of course the Tories – has rushed forward to comment on what Starmer has done, and grab the opportunity to say what their own policies are. Deafening silence from the Lib Dems.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-68238090

  • Peter Davies 8th Feb '24 - 12:56pm

    If they bought into projects that were commercially viable, the most likely result would be £28 bn of private capital being switched from green projects to government bonds. That would happen via slightly pushing up the price of green shares and reducing the price of bonds which would wipe out most of the government profit. Generally not a very useful result but one that doesn’t require taxation.

  • Peter Davies 8th Feb '24 - 4:00pm

    The home insulation package that they have now dropped was described as investment but was current account spending. Worthwhile but never intended to produce a return.

  • Neil James Sandison 10th Feb '24 - 4:43pm

    The problem with Labour 28 billion U turn is that they brought into the Tory propaganda that green initatives are expensive but so are a do nothing policy . Landfill and Carbon taxes through incineration add cost , poor repair and a lack of insulation pushes both tenant and landlord costs up. huge amounts of expenditure for flood prevention and worst regular flooding has a heavy economic cost. What we need to demonstrate is short term capital spending will save billions and reduce the pain for those who are most affected .

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