Conference preview: two of the coalition’s most controversial policies

Saturday morning in Sheffield this weekend sees the LibDem conference debating two of the areas of coalition which have generated the most controversy: the NHS and the future of the Disability Living Allowance.

The motion on the Disability Living Allowance (F4) has been slightly overtaken by events as the debate within government over the Welfare Reform Bill develops and in fact the plans in this area have in effect been sent back to the drawing board. That makes the motion all the more important, because rather than being simply a chance to cast a verdict on what the government has done, it is a chance to influence what is yet to be decided. The heart of the motion calls for “the Coalition Government to reinstate the Mobility Component or otherwise fund the mobility needs of those who cannot afford to do so themselves”.

Paul BurstowStraight after this debate comes one on the NHS (F5). The choice of Andrew Wiseman, Federal Conference Committee’s chair, to chair this debate is a good sign that this is expected to be one of the liveliest of conference as is the news that two Liberal Democrat MPs have signed an EDM expressing concerns over the policy.

Buried in the middle of the motion are lines 16-17 which says that “Conference welcomes the vision for the NHS set out in the Government’s White Paper”. That may be glossed over as a bit of padding between long lists of less controversial points or it may be the trigger for an all-out row, as also may be the amendment likely to be debated that is coming from ex-MP and doctor Evan Harris and Lib Dem peer Shirley Williams (who made her views clear in “I can’t support the coalition plan for the NHS“).

The gap between what the amendment calls for and what Liberal Democrats in government have been pressing for is not that large, however – and some have already expressed the view that the amendment may be a good route to getting more changes made to the health plans. That will provide a pointed choice for those promoting the amendment – whether to try to bring about change through aggressive antagonism or through emollient persuasion? And is modifying the government plans or setting out what a Liberal Democrat majority government would do their top priority?

The full text of both motions are in the Spring Conference Agenda and Directory embedded below.

Liberal Democrat Spring Conference Agenda and Directory 2011

Further information about the Liberal Democrat federal conference is available in the Party Conference section on the main party website and the official Lib Dem conference Twitter account is @LibDemConf.

Read more by or more about , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in Conference.
Advert

2 Comments

  • Steve Hicks 11th Mar '11 - 3:18pm

    St Ives Liberal Democrat MP, and Health Select Comittee member Andrew George has outlined why he will be urging delegates at Conference to send Paul Burstow a big raspberry over the leadership’s health motion: http://bit.ly/gTsDsi

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Nigel If you scratch that veneer of toughness there may be some element of sense and consideration there. But crass and cruel headline comments are not fake,...
  • Nigel Jones
    Robin Stafford: "the 'market' is not always the answer". Well said, especially with the word 'always'; I remember when the telephone service was privatised a...
  • George Thomas
    This government broke the social contract when Zach Goldsmith was voted out of office but ended up in House of Lords and in The Cabinet regardless because of wh...
  • Roland
    William Wallace "Incidentally, if the Tories want to put growth above all else, their first priority should be to regain access to our most important oversea...
  • James Pugh
    @George Thomas Some documentation is of course required. However the extent of it (and time it takes to complete) takes police officers away from policing an...