Author Archives: Kirsten Johnson

Autumn Budget – what our Spokespeople say

The Lib Dems have been hot off the mark with what this Autumn Budget doesn’t do.  Here are 7 failures.

And leading Lib Dems have been speaking out about what the budget really means:

Leader of the Lib Dems Vince Cable MP says

Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election.

And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Plymouth Rock

Take a moment to be thankful.

For your job, your friends, that you have food to eat and a place to sleep, for the air we breathe and the freedom we have. Be thankful.

The North American holiday of Thanksgiving was born of tragedy. The Mayflower, filled with settlers from England, docked in Plymouth, Massachusetts in December 1620. Of the 102 passengers and around 30 crew on board, only five women of eighteen survived the winter, and around half the men and crew.

The following spring, the Wampanoag, a …

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£18,000 Education Pot – a good idea?

The papers today have been full of Vince Cable’s proposal that all 16-year olds should have access to an £18,000 endowment for education.

Here is an extract from The Sun:

Teenagers should get £18,000 to spend on further education to re-balance inequality between the generations, Sir Vince Cable has said.

The Lib Dem leader today unveiled his plans for an “endowment fund” which would be used for young people to spend throughout their lives.

And from the Daily Telegraph:

A new wealth tax could extract some of the housing value owned by older Brits, which Cable wants to use to give all 18-year olds

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Integrating Physical and Mental Health

There is a new initiative from the King’s Fund on integrating physical and mental health care. They are setting up an “Integrating Physical and Mental Health Care Learning Network”.

The King’s Fund learning networks provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, challenge and information-sharing. Network members have the opportunity to work through local issues with colleagues facing similar challenges. External speakers will share insights on relevant topics, and the group will also draw on expertise from staff at the Fund, as well as our latest research and publications.

This follows on from their 2016 …

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Notes From A New Councillor: Bus Services Motion Passes!

I wanted to post an update to the blog I wrote in August on the poor bus provision in Oxfordshire due to cuts in bus subsidies.

There are two parts to this story – the motion I moved on Tuesday to Full Council which passed unanimously – hooray! – and how I got the motion to its final form.

We’ll start with the second part, as that was the real journey for me as a new councillor.  I had originally submitted this motion for September full council, but we ran out of time …

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5p Cup Charge Might Just Happen

Lib Dems led the way with hugely successful plastic bag charge, leading to a reduction of over 85% in plastic bags, and followed last year with policy to introduce a small charge on disposable coffee cups.

The plans were rejected by government last year, but there appears to have been a U-turn.

Yesterday, Environment Minister Therese Coffey told the environmental audit committee that the government will consider introducing a coffee cup charge to tackle the 2.5 billion disposable cups thrown away each year.

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Tim Farron commented

It is good to see

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Benefit Cuts Will Increase Child Poverty

A new report just released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that benefit cuts will increase child poverty, especially in the North East and in Wales.

Absolute child poverty would increase by 4%, and three-quarters of that would be linked to the freeze to most working-age benefits and limiting of tax credits and universal credits to two children. Using forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, combined with current benefit plans, the study shows child poverty will increase in each English region and nation of the UK.

Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesman, Stephen Lloyd MP, says

These figures from

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 24th Mar - 3:04pm
    I welcome any thoughts about what we need to do about the increasing number of people who are struggling to make ends meet because, for...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 24th Mar - 2:53pm
    This is a very welcome paper because it creatively links our values with policy ideas, although it doesn’t deal with the controls needed to avoid...
  • User AvatarChristopher Curtis 24th Mar - 2:42pm
    As far as I can see, the data collected was within the permissions given by Facebook users at the time. There's nothing yet to suggest...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 24th Mar - 2:33pm
    I’ve just checked out what ‘Harry Lime’ actually said. It was “500 years of democracy and brotherly love” and he was comparing Switzerland with renaissance...
  • User Avatarjay 24th Mar - 2:30pm
    @Chris Cory Major, Heseltine and Soubury? Soubury's an awful politician. But I suppose the Lib Dems have a habit of jumping in bed with the...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 24th Mar - 2:26pm
    I would remind Mr Fowler that the referendum, or plebiscite, was one of the preferred tools of Mr A Hitler. As for the Swiss, there...