Tag Archives: liam byrne

Danny Alexander’s note to Liam: We won’t let you or the Tories screw up the recovery

Five years apart, two letters tell a very different story. David Laws found this on his desk at the Treasury:

 

Liam Byrne's note

 

Danny Alexander got round to replying today:

Danny Alexander's reply

As George Crozier pointed out last week, this recovery is very much a Liberal Democrat recovery:

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ATOS lose monopoly on work capability assessments after audit shows up “unacceptable” standards

Those of us who are concerned about the fairness of the welfare system often cite the Work Capability Assessment, which claimants of Employment and Support Allowance are required to take. It seems that every few days there’s a story in the press reporting how someone has been marked fit for work when it is clearly inappropriate to do so. Yesterday the Daily Record carried the story of a woman who lived just a couple of miles away from me who was told she was fit for work weeks before she died of a brain tumour.

Concerns about the WCA appear …

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David Laws – “I thought the note was a joke”

no money leftITV has revealed the contents of the infamous note left by Liam Byrne for David Laws. Unfortunately it is not possible to embed the video in this post, but you can watch it here.

Three years ago David Laws reported that his predecessor had written ‘There’s no money left’, but it seems that wasn’t quite what the note said.

 

 

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Lib Dem MPs win concessions ahead of benefits cap vote

Lib Dem MPs, including the party’s deputy leader Simon Hughes, look set to obtain concessions from Iain Duncan Smith to win their support for the Coalition’s controversial welfare bill, which will introduce a benefit cap of a maximum of £26,000. Here’s how The Guardian reports the news:

The government is expected to make a series of concessions in the coming days on it controversial £26,000 household benefits cap to win over wavering Liberal Democrat MPs. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, is expected to agree that a discretionary fund should be established to ease the burden on families

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Opinion: Why you must lobby Parliament over welfare reform

A few weeks ago, our autumn conference passed a motion on the Employment Support Allowance (ESA). This motion was passed near unanimously and party policy is now for us to push for significant changes to the government’s welfare reforms.

The reason behind the new policy is that the government’s changes, as currently formatted, would put two million long term sick and disabled people through a system which treats them like scroungers and cheats rather than vulnerable people in need of support. At present, 11,000 people a day are being put through a deeply flawed assessment process, which gets the decision …

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Labour reshuffle: Ed Miliband unveils Continuity Gordon Brown Party

The Lib Dem response to Ed Balls’ appointment as Labour’s shadow chancellor, replacing Alan Johnson, has been swift. Stephen Williams, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Treasury Committee, commented:

“I wish Alan Johnson good luck for the future.

“The decision to appoint Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor shows that the Labour Party is now determined to carry on with the Gordon Brown economic plan that caused so much trouble for this country.

“Ed Balls isn’t just a deficit denier, he’s a deficit enthusiast.”

Alan Johnson resigned earlier today, citing “personal reasons to do with my family”. He had been under pressure in …

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Labour’s Liam Byrne confesses all to David Laws: “I am afraid to tell you there is no money left”

In the first Treasury press conference this morning of the coalition government, Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury David Laws revealed he’d received a letter from his Labour predecessor, Liam Byrne:

“When I arrived at my desk on the very first day as Chief Secretary, I found a letter from the previous chief secretary to give me some advice, I assumed, on how I conduct myself over the months ahead.

“Unfortunately, when I opened it, it was a one-sentence letter which simply said ’Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left’, which was honest but slightly

Posted in News | 43 Comments

Mansion Tax: FT praises, Government doesn’t reject

From Left Foot Forward:

Martin Wolf, writing in yesterday’s FT, has praised the Liberal Democrats “mansion tax” policy:

“Taxation of property should be heavier, not lighter. But it should also be less regressive. That is why the mansion tax is the germ of an excellent idea.

“Taxes on property have other benefits: they automatically rise with prosperity; they are hard to evade; and they are automatically imposed on otherwise untaxed foreign owners. The latter benefit from the amenities of the UK without paying for them. A higher property tax is a simple – and inescapable – way of making them contribute to

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