The Liberal Democrats' plans to tackle knife crime

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 13 Nov 2019

The UK is in a knife crime epidemic, but successive Governments have taken the wrong approach to dealing with it.

For 25 years, Conservative and Labour Governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent it.

"Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by investing £500 million a year in youth services and taking a public health approach to youth violence."

The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle soaring levels of knife crime, and we will do this by investing £500 million in youth services and adopting a public health approach to youth violence.

A Liberal Democrat government would create a £500 million ring-fenced fund for Local Authorities in England to spend on youth services. This would provide young people with positive, safe and healthy opportunities to prevent them being drawn into youth violence and gang-related crime. We would also make local youth services a statutory service, protecting them from future cuts.

We would take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit. This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.

With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our communities will be stronger and people will feel safer.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We should not stand aside for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour

by Chuka Umunna on Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Lib Dem and Remainer social media is aflutter today with discussions of the Canterbury situation.

Some people argue with great passion that we should be standing aside for Labour’s candidate Rosie Duffield. I know Rosie and she is a good person. I think she would be a much better fit in the Liberal Democrats, but she has chosen to stay in Labour. I understand people’s instinctive desire to give her a clear run at her seat in the name of Remain.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

ITV Legal Action

by Sal Brinton on Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Jo Swinson would make a better Prime Minister than either Johnson or Corbyn.

Yesterday, the Liberal Democrats filed legal proceedings against ITV. 

They have refused to include Jo Swinson in their Leaders Debate numerous times. This is despite Jo being the leader of the biggest and strongest Remain party in the country. 

In its current format, the debate will be between just two men. One is Boris Johnson, who has repeatedly lied to the country about Brexit and has just made an election pact with Nigel Farage. The other is Jeremy Corbyn, a Eurosceptic since the 1970s.

Remainers will not have a voice in the debate, despite opinion polls show that more people now back Remain than Leave. 

This is completely unacceptable.

Of course, the underlying reasons behind this format are clear for all to see. 

Jo Swinson would make a better Prime Minister than either Johnson or Corbyn. Why on earth would either of these men accept a debate against someone they knew they would lose to?

However frustrating this situation may seem, all is not lost. We are taking the fight to court in the interests of fairness and equality. 

This is not over.

Jo will be appearing in a televised debate with other leaders on the BBC. We are in discussions with Sky for a three-way head-to-head debate. 

And, perhaps most tellingly of all, over 47,000 people have signed our online #DebateHer petition calling for ITV and BBC to include Jo in their debates.

Click here to sign the petition

This is not over. Not by a long shot.

As the biggest party of Remain, the Liberal Democrats will continue to represent the voice of Remain.We will fight for as long as it takes.

If we win our case in the coming weeks, Jo will be able to show the country that there is a choice for a brighter future. If we lose, then the country will know that the two other leaders are terrified of us.

Because we are the only party that will move us forward, rather than backwards. Together, we can show Corbyn and Johnson that we are the only party with a real Plan for the Future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Liberal Democrats' pledge to invest in flood defences

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 13 Nov 2019

As the world grapples with a climate emergency, the Conservatives are turning their backs on communities most at risk by failing to provide adequate flood defences.

Following the flooding across northern England this week, we've announced that a over the lifetime of the next parliament, a Liberal Democrat government will create a £5bn flood prevention and adaptation fund. The fund will help the UK build resilience against future flooding, and ensure all communities can access the funds they need during periods of crisis.  

"The Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in our flood defences and protecting communities from the devastation we have seen in the last week."

The Tory Brexit agenda risks the UK losing access to vital EU funds for improving flood defences and flood relief. This would starve local communities of a key revenue stream to tackle flooding and build resilience for the future.

It's only by voting for a Liberal Democrat government that we can stop Brexit and stay in the EU, meaning that the UK will retain access to vital EU funds to deal with flooding. 

We will also increase DEFRA's budget by £1bn per year, ensuring that non-departmental bodies like the Environment Agency receive more funding. 
 
A Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit and build a brighter future, tackling key issues like the climate emergency. 

Learn about our Plan for the Future here

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Phone Bank Tips

by Dan Schmeising on Tue, 12 Nov 2019

Guru Nanak Gurpurab

by Jo Swinson on Tue, 12 Nov 2019

Today marks Guru Nanak Gurpurab, which commemorates the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith. Sikh communities across the world will be celebrating the life of a great thinker; someone who stood up for equality, justice and fairness.

The teachings of Guru Nanak are profoundly significant. As we mark 550 years since his birth, let us reflect on his message of love and community service to others. These teachings continue to resonate with millions today and are a source of inspiration to people of all faiths and those of none.

Today we also recognise the extraordinary contributions of British Sikhs to our country. Sikh communities are essential to our national way of life. Celebrations like this are a reminder of how fortunate we are to be home to such vibrant and diverse communities.

To all those celebrating, I wish you a very blessed and joyous Gurpurab!  

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Plan for the Future: Skills Wallet

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 12 Nov 2019

Working hard should mean secure work and a decent income, but for too many people that’s not the case. In an ever changing workplace, people often need to develop new skills, but the cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.
 
Neither the Conservatives or Labour have the answers to these challenges. They are stuck pursuing 20th-century policies that simply won’t work in our 21st-century economy. They would take our country backwards.

The Skills Wallet will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK's economic future and prosperity.

That's why, as part of our Plan for the Future, the Liberal Democrats have set out our vision for a “new era of learning throughout life” with the creation of an ambitious Skills Wallet. This will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.
 
A Liberal Democrat government will put £4,000 into people’s ‘Skills Wallet’ at 25, £3,000 at 40 and another £3,000 at 55. The grants have been designed to encourage saving towards the costs of education and training throughout adult life.

Individuals, their employers and local government will be able to make additional payments into the wallets. Access to free careers guidance will also be provided.

By stopping Brexit and investing in these Skills Wallets, the Liberal Democrats will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK’s economic future and prosperity.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

But What Is A Skills Wallet? 🤨🤨🤨

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 11 Nov 2019

A lot of people have noticed something in our online ads… something about “skills wallets”.

So what is a “Skills Wallet”?

It’s a major, new, innovative policy and a key part of our Plan for the Future.

A Liberal Democrat government will provide every adult with £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout your lives. This “Skills Wallet” is meant to give every person the opportunity to retrain and upskill for jobs that we can’t even imagine yet.

It can be prohibitively expensive to develop new skills at various stages of your career. The cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.

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Not everyone has skills like Liam Neeson

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour have the answers to these challenges. They are stuck pursuing 20th or even 19th century policies that won’t work in our 21st century economy.

So as part of our fight to build a fairer economy and a brighter future, we will create Skills Wallets!

How will it work? 

As we said, every adult will be entitled to £10,000 to use over their lifetime on upskilling courses and further education. That’ll be divided into £4,000 at 25 years old, £3,000 at 40, and another £3,000 at 55. 

On top of this, individuals, employers and local government will be able to pay into the wallets.

This will make the skills wallet a valuable resource for every adult for their whole life!  

You’ll get to choose how and when to spend the money yourself - as long as it’s a course from an approved provider.

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Sorry Luke, you probably won’t be able to do that with your Skills Wallet

And of course, everyone will be able to access free guidance to help them to decide how to use their Skills Wallet.

That’s how we know our investment will help people to gain the skills they will find invaluable in the world of work.

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This will never be a problem again with Skills Wallets.

How will we pay for it? 

A very reasonable question.

We expect this to cost £1.9 billion a year in total by 2024-25.

To pay for this, we will reverse the Conservatives’ unnecessary and expensive cuts to Corporation Tax. We'll return the rate to 20%, where it stood in 2016.

This will raise £10 billion a year by 2024-25. That's more than enough to pay for the Skills Wallets, with plenty left over to part-fund our expansion of free, high-quality childcare

So there you have it. Skills Wallets are a bold new initiative to give adults £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.

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We think so too!

Think that’s a great idea? Why not be a part of our plan for a brighter future, and join the Liberal Democrats: 

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Tories’ plan for a shameful Nurse Tax

by Luciana Berger on Sun, 10 Nov 2019

Hard-working doctors and nurses from the EU are fundamental to the NHS. We all have loved ones whose lives have been saved through their skill and dedication.

But today, the full extent of the Tories’ contempt for our dedicated doctors and nurses was revealed. 

Even though the NHS is critically understaffed, the Tories have revealed that part of their nightmarish Brexit plan is to charge EU nurses and doctors £464 to come to the UK to save lives.

If this isn’t bad enough, the Tories also want EU workers to pay what they euphemistically call a ‘health immigration surcharge’. 

What does this actually mean?

It’s a £400-a-year tax they will charge all EU workers - including NHS nurses and doctors - to access basic health services.

And if hard-working, low-paid NHS staff can’t afford the Nurse Tax, the Tories will take it out of their wages.

To recap:

  1. The NHS is critically under-funded and under-staffed due to chronic under-investment by the Tories.
  2. In response, the Tories want to charge the EU nurses and doctors to come to the UK, then make them pay a huge tax to access the same services they deliver.

We cannot let this happen.

The Tories' plans couldn’t be further from the fair and welcoming society that the Liberal Democrats are fighting to build.

On Day 1 of a Liberal Democrat government, we will stop Brexit and use the funds from the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in the critical frontline services the NHS desperately needs.

Our hard-working nurses and doctors should be celebrated, not charged to save lives. And what kind of government would charge sick nurses to use the same hospitals they work in round the clock?

We must stop the Nurse Tax. To do so, help us to stop Brexit and build a better future. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Free childcare and a fairer economy

by Jo Swinson on Sat, 09 Nov 2019

For too many people, things are not working as they should.

Families are working harder than ever, but far too many are struggling to get by.

The Conservatives and Labour are taking our country backwards. Their plans don’t meet the demands of modern life. 

But the Liberal Democrats have a bold plan to build a brighter future. We want to create a fairer economy where it’s easier to be a parent, have a career, and provide for your family.

That’s why a Liberal Democrat government will provide free childcare for all children of working parents from 9 months old.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Part Four of our Plan for the Future

by Liberal Democrats on Sat, 09 Nov 2019

Today’s high cost of childcare means that too many parents are unable to return to work without risking real financial hardship. With the average cost of 25 hours nursery care for a child under two running to more than £6500 per year, many parents are effectively excluded from work due to the burden of childcare costs.

A Liberal Democrat government will build a fairer economy by providing free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four, for 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year. The offer is extended to children aged between 9 and 24 months where their parents are in work. 

"The choice for parents now is simply not good enough. That is why Liberal Democrats are proposing a transformational change to our economy, by providing working parents with free childcare from when their child is 9 months old."

The Liberal Democrats will make sure that childcare providers are adequately funded, increasing the rates paid by government to match the actual cost of nursery provision. This will be funded by fair tax changes, ensuring that big businesses pay their share, and aligning the tax treatment of income from wealth with income from work.
 
We recognise that laws need to change so that parents have the chance to work with greater flexibility. As part of these proposals, employers will be required to advertise jobs flexibly, unless there are clear business reasons why they cannot.

The Liberal Democrat plans to transform the provision of early years support are at the heart of the our commitment to build a brighter future for the next generation. 

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Tackling the climate emergency

by Ed Davey on Fri, 08 Nov 2019

We are in the middle of a climate emergency and the world needs urgent action.

Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to tackle the climate emergency.

It’s front and centre of our plan, because we can’t build a brighter future unless we save our planet.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

7 times Boris Johnson revealed his sexist views

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 08 Nov 2019

Throughout his career, Boris Johnson has developed a reputation for being less than respectful in the way he speaks (or writes) about women. 

Now, as he faces a general election campaigning against a strong leader and feminist, Jo Swinson, we look back at just a few of the times Boris has shown how he really feels about women.

1. Revealing insults of choice

Earlier this year, Johnson made headlines after redacted documents released to courts in Edinburgh and London revealed some choice words about former Prime Minister David Cameron. While the original phrase was redacted, a full copy of the paper was leaked to Sky News, reading: "The whole September session is a rigmarole introduced by girly swot Cameron to show the public that MPs were earning their crust.”

"The whole September session is a rigmarole introduced by girly swot Cameron to show the public that MPs were earning their crust."

2. Purile election promises

The desperation was palpable during Boris's campaign to become the Conservative MP for Henley in the 2005 general election. In a bid to win over supporters, he promised that 'voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts'. Somehow, I can't quite picture that painted across the side of a campaign bus. 

3. Creepy comments about female athletes

In the summer of 2012, London was riding high as hosts of the Olympic Games. As Mayor of London, Johnson had so many exciting things to talk about - from Team GB winning 65 medals to the brief Spice Girls reunion at the Closing Ceremony.  Instead, Boris decided to voice his thoughts on the professional volleyball players, saying: “As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto… They are glistening like wet otters and the water is splashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers.”

"As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade."

4. The infamous letterbox column

Given his above feelings towards women's clothing, of course Johnson had to share his wildly offensive views on burkas. Writing in the Daily Telegraph last August, he said: "I would… say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes."

His comments were widely criticised by Muslim women across the UK, but despite having many opportunities to apologise for his comments, Boris never has.

5. Attacking Trump's opponent

Despite the fact that the Prime Minister is clearly a big fan of Donald Trump and his authoritarian values, he clearly doesn't feel the same way about 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

Back in 2007, Boris compared Hillary to 'a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital' in a column for the Telegraph. He went on to claim that she carried out her role as First Lady like 'Lady Macbeth, stamping her heel, bawling out subordinates and frisbeeing ashtrays at her erring husband'. Seems like Johnson isn't a fan of women with power. 

Johnson has previously compared Hillary Clinton to 'a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital'.

6. Backwards marriage views 

Johnson gave us a peek into his regressive views on marriage in March last year, when he referred to the very well-known MP Emily Thornberry as Lady Nugee. While using Emily's husband's surname to address her is hardly his worst crime, it's a great example of how stuck in the past our Prime Minister is.

7. Disgraceful voting record on abortion

While it's easy to disregard Boris Johnson's comments about women as stupid, it's important to remember that his beliefs have an impact on our country. 

As an MP, he has always abstained from Westminster votes on abortion, including those related to Northern Ireland, where abortion was only decriminalised in October 2019. 

Sadly, it seems the Boris Johnson doesn't have that much respect for women. But luckily for us, we have the chance to elect a Prime Minister who truly believes in equality (and the fact that she's a woman is just a bonus!)

If you need a palette cleanser after reading this, check out the Liberal Democrats' Plan for the Future - where, with Jo Swinson as PM, we can build a brighter future. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Stopping Brexit and keeping our family of nations together

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 08 Nov 2019

Today, Jo Swinson is taking her Leader’s Tour of the UK to Scotland to say loud and clear that the Liberal Democrats will protect Scotland’s place at the heart of the EU and in the UK.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and keep Scotland in the UK. At this general election we’re offering voters a real way to stop the chaos.

"The four nations of the United Kingdom are stronger when they work together so we should work together to stop Brexit."

On day one, a Lib Dem majority government will stop Brexit so that we can focus on tackling the big issues facing the UK right now. We will use the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in our public services and tackling inequality.

Once we stop Brexit, we can build a brighter future; one that includes our whole United Kingdom.

The Liberal Democrats will stop another independence referendum in Scotland and stop the division, chaos, new borders and economic cost that independence would cause.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.  

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Why Jo Swinson must be our next Prime Minister

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Fri, 08 Nov 2019

The Liberal Democrats are surging across the UK in the last 6 months. We've won 700 new council seats and 14 brilliant new MEPs - our best election results ever.

People are tired of the same backwards-looking offers from the Conservative and Labour parties. Whether it's the days of the empire or 1970s socialism, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn want to take our country backwards.

But it doesn't have to be this way. With Jo Swinson as PM, we can build the country we want to be. Where every single person and community is valued, empowered and cared for, and where we protect our planet for future generations. Here is our plan for the future:

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn want to take our country backwards.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Unite to Remain agreement

by James Gurling on Thu, 07 Nov 2019

As you will know, our Party has long been recognised as the UK’s lead Party of Remain.

Recently we have been working with the independent “Unite to Remain” campaign to maximise the number of Remain MPs elected in this snap General Election.

Unite to Remain is made up of the 3 parties committed unequivocally to the cause of Remain: The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. It’s really disappointing that Labour would not step up too, but they are simply not a Party of Remain.

We have collectively reached a set of agreements to further the Remain cause and are announcing the details today.

In short, 60 constituencies in England and Wales are involved. Plaid and/or Greens will stand down in our favour in 43 seats, and we will stand down for them in 17. 

The full details were announced this morning in a Unite to Remain press conference and can be found here:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Part Three of our Plan for the Future

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 07 Nov 2019

The UK should be leading the world on tackling the environment crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

The climate emergency is real and our planet is heating to unsustainable levels. Young people have taken to the streets because they’re so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act.

This climate catastrophe will create huge global inequalities and we have a moral duty to protect the future; that's why, as part of our Plan for the Future, the Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency by generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025.

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a Prime Minister that will deliver a bold green plan and a brighter future.”

As one of the party’s key priorities, a Liberal Democrat government will raise the energy efficiency standards for new homes, as well as investing £15 billion over the next Parliament to retrofit 26 million homes. This would save the average household £550 a year on energy bills.

We are the only party dedicated to building a brighter future by tackling the environmental crises with urgent actions. We are the only party with a bold, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency as soon as possible, to put climate action at the heart of our government, and to reverse the damage we’re doing to our planet.

The Liberal Democrats will take bold action to tackle the climate emergency and build a brighter future. 

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Part Two of our Plan for the Future

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 06 Nov 2019

The NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not. Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at ‘crisis’ point, or too late.

That's why the Liberal Democrats are dedicated to transforming mental health services by treating them with the same urgency as physical health. 

"We want to break down the barriers of stigma and shame, which leave those suffering, alienated and isolated, and we want to make the UK a world leader in keeping our nation well with our push for greater emphasis on wellbeing.”

As part of our Plan for the Future, a Liberal Democrat government will invest £11 billion into mental health services such as:

  • child and adolescent mental health,
  • matching waiting time standards to those in physical health,
  • and expanding our mental health workforce

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. For too many, treatment is a postcode lottery; with waiting times for psychological therapy varying from 16 days in Waltham Forest, to 176 days in Leicester.

Making mental health services accessible to all is fundamental, and no one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home. By prioritising young people coming out of care, and supporting students from school through to colleges and universities, it is possible to ensure that no one will have to travel out of area for all but the most specialist mental health services.

By putting a penny in the pound on income tax and ringfencing £11 billion in funding for mental health, the Liberal Democrats will provide real parity between mental and physical health care. We want to make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as is the case for conditions such as cancer and diabetes. 

Brexit, either carried out by the Conservative or Labour Party, will put the NHS at risk. Our commitment will ensure it is kept safe and out of the hands of Donald Trump. 

The Liberal Democrats' Plan for the Future aims to build a brighter future for our country. Learn more here.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Part One of our Plan for the Future

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 05 Nov 2019

Today, we're kicking off the Liberal Democrats' Plan for the Future. 

At our general election campaign launch, leader Jo Swinson has declared that a Liberal Democrat government will Stop Brexit and use the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in public services and tackle inequality. 

This £50 billion injection to the areas that need it most can only be delivered by a Lib Dem government - we are the only party standing up to stop Brexit.

"Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, build a brighter future and invest the £50bn Remain bonus in our vital public services."

With Jo Swinson as Prime Minister, we will reverse the drastic cuts to public services that the Conservative government have made and continue to lead from within the EU.

Boris Johnson and the Conservative party have caused a national crisis with Brexit; he has lied to the Queen, he’s lied to Parliament and he's lied to the country to push his bad Brexit deal. Together, we can stop him, stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

We will be announcing more of the Liberal Democrats' Plan for the Future soon. Sign up now to be the first to hear. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Help get Jo in the ITV debate

by Layla Moran on Mon, 04 Nov 2019

I am livid.

It is unbelievable that the two Brexiteer leaders of the two old stale parties will be debating the politics of the past, meanwhile Jo Swinson the one leader who unequivocally represents remainers and wants to debate how we build a brighter future is left out of the conversation.

The leader of the strongest party of Remain demanding a People’s Vote deserves to be heard. You’ve already taken the first step towards making sure they #DebateHer.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →