6th March 2019 – Daily Press Releases and Top Lines

Press Releases

Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push the economy into recession 

Commenting on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s report into the implications for economic growth as a consequence of Brexit, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“The economy has been bumping along the bottom in the wake of Brexit uncertainty. This analysis by the OECD, while focused on a slowing global economy, picks out the UK as one of the worst performers among developed countries due to our weakening economic growth and falling business investment.

“Not only have our growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 been severely downgraded, but the OECD expects our economy to suffer even if the Conservative Government gets its Brexit deal through, undermining claims of a so-called “deal dividend”. A catastrophic no-deal would push our economy into recession, inflicting great damage on jobs and living standards.”



PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron today used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge the Prime Minister to properly compensate communities that have been abandoned by the banks and forced to use online banking instead.

According to the consumer group Which? around 3,000 bank branches have closed over the past three years.

Meanwhile, over the same time period, innocent customers have lost an extra £2billion in online and financial fraud.

Speaking during Prime Ministers Questions, Tim Farron asked: “Will she agree that the banks have taken without giving for too long?

“Will she meet with me to force the banks to compensate victims of fraud, to compensate the communities they have abandoned and to prevent banks closing the last branch in town?”

In response, the Prime Minister refused to help abandoned communities and victims of financial fraud, instead saying that banks are “commercial organisations and those are decisions that they take.”

Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said: 

“It’s absolutely staggering and hugely disappointing that the Prime Minister has decided to turn her back on communities like Grange in my constituency that have been abandoned by the banks.

“People who have been victims of financial fraud and those who have been let down by the banks deserve better than the Prime Minister shrugging her shoulders.”



Lib Dem bill to bring in mental health checks for new mums

Today (7th March) Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse will introduce a Bill to improve mental health care for new mothers.

To mark International Women’s Day, Wera Hobhouse is launching her campaign to require routine six weeks National Health Service post-natal check-ups to include mental health assessments.

Ms. Hobhouse said:

“It is extremely worrying that nearly half of new mothers who have experienced mental health or emotional issues have not had their problem identified by a health professional or received any help or treatment.

“Postnatal mental health issues are not a new phenomenon and are not uncommon. It’s time to remove the stigma, encourage new mothers to discuss their emotional well-being, and provide them with the mental health support they need.

“That is why, one year on from introducing my Bill to make upskirting illegal, I am introducing this legislation to ensure women are getting proper mental health advice and treatment as part of their six week new mother check-up. To allow mental health to be sidelined is a dereliction of duty of care to both new mothers and their babies.”



Lords to vote on Fox’s right to sign off trade deals

Today, Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords will vote for Parliament, not Liam Fox, to decide who the UK trades freely with and on what terms.

Peers will vote on cross-party amendments to the Trade Bill, one of which would require Parliament to approve the Government’s negotiating mandate for free trade agreements as well as the final text.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords, Dick Newby, said:

“Brexit could leave Parliament with almost no influence over future trade deals.

“At the moment, all Parliament can do is kick the can down the road 21 days at a time. This may be the preferred tactic of the Prime Minister, but the Liberal Democrats are clear that parliamentary scrutiny is crucial in ensuring that Liam Fox does not sign dodgy deals in a desperate attempt to finally sign some.

“Instead of letting Liam Fox decide what’s in the national interest, this amendment will let Parliament decide whether a trade deal benefits our economy or is in fact potentially damaging.

“It is time that Ministers gave up on secretive trade negotiations so that the public can know the true cost of Brexit. Brexit will always make the UK poorer and the only real alternative is to offer the public a final say, with the option to stay in the EU”.



Top Lines:

PM’s guarantees to protect workers’ rights not worth the paper they’re written on

The Conservatives have today announced that Parliament will be given a vote on adopting future EU rules on workers’ rights, However, this is yet another desperate attempt by the Prime Minister to save her deal by bribing Labour MPs.
Her so-called guarantees to protect workers’ rights are not worth the paper they are written on. There is nothing stopping a future Conservative Government from ripping them to shreds.
The PM claims credit for shared parental leave but I was the one fighting Conservative Minister after Conservative Minister so we could make shared parental leave a reality for families.
Trusting the Conservatives to protect workers’ rights would be like trusting a fox to guard the hen house. The only way to protect the millions of workers in the UK is to stay in the European Union.


Make school uniforms gender neutral
Layla Moran will today introduce a Bill on gender-neutral school uniforms to mark International Women’s Day.
The Conservative Government must take a step into the twenty-first century. It is harmful that in some cases schools are still dictating what children can and cannot wear just because of their gender.
This is not about forcing girls to wear trousers or boys to wear skirts. We must support all children to feel happy about what they wear to school. It is also important that transgender and non-binary pupils feel they can dress comfortably.
Liberal Democrats demand better. It’s high time that all children were given the option of which school uniform they want to wear. We must create a culture of acceptance in our schools where all students are confident and comfortable no matter what they choose to wear.


Govt must act to prevent another Windrush
The Public Accounts committees have today published a report condemning the Home Office over its handling of the Windrush Generation.
The Conservative Government’s continued failure to put things right for the victims of this scandal is shameful. Ministers must meet the urgent housing requirements of members of the Windrush Generation, as well as providing them with proper compensation.
We must ensure that this scandal never happens again, but the Settled Status scheme for EU citizens risks leaving many thousands of them facing the same problems as the Windrush Generation after Brexit. The only way to prevent it is to end the hostile environment completely and take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office and its toxic culture.


* Cllr. Tahir Maher is a member of the LDV editorial team

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One Comment

  • Nigel Jones 6th Mar '19 - 10:08pm

    On the Banks, whenever issues arise that cannot be done online (like opening a new account and change of signatures) the service is often abysmal. Voluntary groups, like our local Fair Trade group, our local Lib-dem party etc. and elderly people that deal in small amounts of money are bottom in priority.
    Their systems are very centralised, staff at the centre have too many accounts to deal with and hence it takes months and months literally to get simple changes made and staff in local branches have no power to help. This therefore affects everyone, even where you have a local branch. One account I was involved with was frozen because (they said) it was not being used enough and it took 8months, formal complaints and letter to the ombusdman to get it usable again. I have been reliably informed that many local parties are having similar problems; in our case we were in danger of not being able to run our election campaign because of it. In each case, the banks eventually pay out compensation. but …..

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