8 January 2019 – today’s press releases

It seems that, no matter how late I publish this feature, the Press Team are still up and working. Last night, the final press release came out at 11.58 p.m., so is included in today’s batch…

  • Drone reforms are vague and lack resources
  • Social housing neglect due to lack of political will
  • Dover delay is a national embarrassment
  • Cable: Bumbling Govt taking ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to Brexit
  • Lib Dems: Govt defeat shows no deal not an option
  • Lib Dems: Drone sighting shows urgent need for regulation
  • Lib Dems defeat Govt on loan charges

Drone reforms are vague and lack resources

Responding to the Government annoucement that the police will be given new powers to tackle the illegal use of drones, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson said:

Action has been long overdue. Had the Conservatives introduced reforms when previously advocated by the Liberal Democrats and others, the nightmare before Christmas could have been avoided.

The Government has a lot of ground to make up. These reforms are still too vague and simply won’t come fast enough. Liberal Democrats demand better, including additional resources and training to ensure the police and army are better prepared.

Social housing neglect due to lack of political will

Responding to calls from housing charity Shelter for more social housing, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing Wera Hobhouse said:

Conservative Ministers have neglected social housing for far too long. The housing crisis is leaving people unable to afford a home of their own or, even worse, without a roof over their head.

Councils building social homes for rent is not only the quickest and most cost-effective way to produce the maximum amount of homes, but it is so important due to the secure tenancy they offer vulnerable tenants.

The Liberal Democrats welcome Shelter’s call for funding and more social housing. The current lack of social housing results in housing benefit going into the hands of private landlords, rather than councils. What is stopping this from changing is simply the lack of political will.

The Government must put forward an ambitious plan for building new social housing. The housing crisis is a human crisis; Ministers must take responsibility and start making a serious effort fix it.

Dover delay is a national embarrassment

Commenting on official research commissioned for the Department for Transport which reveals lorries could face a six-day wait at Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

A six day queue for lorries at Dover port beggars belief. Just imagine the chaos that would ensue because of delays to food, medicine and other deliveries. The wait would certainly provide plenty of time to think about where it all went wrong!

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Conservative Government could take no-deal off the table today, end this national embarrassment and offer the public a people’s vote with the option to remain in the EU.

Cable: Bumbling Govt taking ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to Brexit

Three times as many lorries using Portsmouth International Port as a result of a no-deal Brexit would result in gridlock and potential closure to parts of the motorway, Leader of the Liberal Democrats was told today.

The warning from Mike Sellars, Manager of Portsmouth International Port, came during Vince Cable’s visit to the port alongside the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Following the visit, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

This shows the bumbling incompetence of the Government taking a ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to no deal Brexit preparations.

Motorway closures are unacceptable; throwing the Portsmouth port into chaos shows the disregard Conservative Ministers have for the people of a city who voted for Brexit.

Now the people of Portsmouth must pay for the Conservative Government’s incompetence.

Lib Dems: Govt defeat shows no deal not an option

Responding to the Government’s defeat on Amendment 7 to the Finance Bill, which limits their ability to raise tax if there is a no deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The Conservative Government’s defeat this evening shows Parliament’s rejection of a no deal. This amendment goes some way to taking no deal off the table, but it is crucial it is removed as an option entirely.

Theresa May must stop gambling with our future. It is entirely within her power to take no deal off the table, however she is recklessly keeping it there as a scare tactic due to the lack of support for her deal.

The only real alternative to get us out of this mess is to legislate for a people’s vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems: Drone sighting shows urgent need for regulation

Responding to reports that departures at Heathrow Airport were temporarily stopped after a drone was spotted, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson said:

The reports that there has been another drone sighting, but this time at Heathrow Airport, is rightly concerning. This predictable copy-cat incident looks like more travellers will be delayed due to the Government’s incompetence.

Yesterday, the Government finally conceded on introducing some legislation to regulate the drone market. However, what was proposed was scant in detail and there was little sense of urgency. How many flights have to be cancelled before the Conservative Government take the regulation of drones seriously?

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We have been raising the dangers that the wild west drone market has posed for years but to no avail. The Government must move swiftly to pass this drone legislation with sufficient resources behind it to avoid future disruption.

Lib Dems defeat Govt on loan charges

Tonight, an amendment on the Finance Bill put forward by Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has been passed unopposed in the House of Commons.

This amendment will force the Government to undertake a review into their proposed loan charge and its retrospective nature.

Responding to the victory, Ed Davey said:

The Conservative Government’s concession this evening demonstrates how little support they had across the House on this issue. The loan charge is causing misery to thousands of struggling individuals across the country who were wrongly advised.

To backdate these charges was grossly unfair and represented a disregard for the rule of law. Tonight, MPs have rightly come together to condemn this injustice.

Hard working families across this country have been unfairly punished by these loan charges. I hope that these impact assessments will force the Government to rethink this cruel policy.

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6 Comments

  • Regulation and legislation won’t stop the incidents of drone’s at airports. However, the funding of appropriate protection measures will.

  • David Raw,

    this is what it is about https://www.hmrcloancharge.info/. A retrospective charge on employees engaged as independent contractors and often not given a choice by employers.

  • Joseph Bourke 9th Jan '19 - 11:34pm

    David,

    I should add that this amedment calls for a review of the basis of the charge. Many of the schemes themselves were failed tax avoidance shemes. I think the key objective should be to ensure the right culpable parties are assessed and where there has been both a genuine loss to the exchequer and a realistic prospect of recovering tax then appropriate action should be taken.

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