Tag Archives: welfare benefits

12 September 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Wage Figures: Sunak must commit to triple lock now
  • NHS staff cannot be left to suffer in silence
  • Government may have broken law over sewage: “Environmental vandalism on an industrial scale”
  • Liberal Democrats welcome TfL’s new road safety charter

Wage Figures: Sunak must commit to triple lock now

Responding to today’s wage figures which would be used to uprate pensions, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Rishi Sunak must commit now to the triple lock to ensure the state pension rises in line with the cost of living.

His failure to commit to the triple lock earlier this week will have left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over struggling pensioners. We also need a guarantee that welfare payments won’t be slashed in real terms.

Families and pensioners should not be made to pay the price for years of economic mismanagement under the Conservatives.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Our party can seize on the spirit of the times

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Liberalism’s answer to populism, I believe, is to give people what they really want, not what the forked tongues of populism tell them they want. Hopefully in the USA a majority has now chosen a President to give them what they really want.

But here in Britain we still have a populist Prime Minister with his inadequate government. There is still Lockdown, winter weather and seasonal colds and ‘flu yet to come – and the looming problems of Brexit, with or without a last-minute trade deal, before most of us can expect to share in a new vaccine.

There is some comfort in the government’s U-turn on providing vouchers for free school meals in each holiday, and in the continuation of the furlough scheme till March. We have been surprised at seeing a Tory government abandon their previous obsession with running down the Deficit, instead increasing it vastly, to save jobs and livelihoods and retain some spending power in the economy.

Yet this coming winter is likely to be a hard one, with many working-age people poorer if they have been on furlough, and especially if they have been made unemployed and are struggling to find a new job or restart their self-employment business. What will the government do then?

We know the Tory instinct will be to put up taxes – not to affect the wealthiest much, naturally, but to ask most people to contribute more. And among them, the millions of people now on welfare benefits will be expected to tighten their belts and ask no more than they can get now, inadequate as that is to prevent people falling into poverty.

However, the tide is turning. The British Social Attitudes Survey new annual report shows that the hardening of views on social security of the last few years has started to go into reverse. Their survey reveals attitudes have changed and this year more members of the public agree with the statement, ‘benefits are too low and cause hardship’ than last year. And fewer believe that ‘benefits are too high and discourage work’. This survey was conducted between July and October last year, so its findings are likely to be even more affirmed this year, when since March the number of people receiving Universal Credit has doubled to six million.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 61 Comments
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