A Million Jobs …and counting!

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Since 2010, more than one million jobs have been created in the private sector. We are proud of the role that the Liberal Democrats have played in directing government investment into job creation and training.

We are now focusing our efforts on improving this record and delivering a million more new jobs as we continue to build a stronger economy for the future.

Jobs for Young People

The coalition government has already delivered 1.2 million apprenticeships for young people since 2010. The Liberal Democrats are now campaigning to double the number of apprenticeships being offered.

Jobs in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the key to a sustainable economic recovery in Britain. Under Vince Cable at the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills, we have directed an extra investment of over £5.5 billion into high-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy.

Jobs across the UK

Liberal Democrats have long argued that we need to rebalance the economy away from our reliance on London and South East England. That is why we have also set up the £2.6 billion Regional Growth Fund initiative, to help create businesses, jobs and economic recovery in every part of the country.

Jobs Building Britain

The coalition is using £15.3 billion of investment into our infrastructure to build a stronger economy for the future and to create thousands of jobs in construction right now.
For more information on the Liberal Democrats’ record in creating one million new jobs, and to find out how many new jobs are being created near you, visit the Million Jobs website: http://www.amillionjobs.org

Sign Our Petition to Save Whittington Hospital Here

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To Sign the Save The Whittington Hospital Petition Please Click This Link

Laws: More Money for Pupil Premium

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The Coalition Government has today announced how much Pupil Premium money each school in England will receive in 2013/14.

The cash targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition Government.

The Pupil Premium will be worth a total of £1.65bn, or £900 per child, in 2013/14. It covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws said:

“Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and a fair society where everyone can get ahead. Education is absolutely at the heart of that.

“The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition, extra IT support – whatever the school thinks best.

“Helping the most disadvantaged children helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.”

You can find details of how much each local school in England will gain from the Lib Dem Pupil Premium, by visiting this website: http://bit.ly/TyVK6D

Image Copyright: Flickr/Educationgovuk

 

Liberal Democrats: Cutting Your Taxes by £600 a Year

Commenting on the rise in the Income Tax personal allowance announced in the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Stephen Williams said:
“Liberal Democrats are working for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life. That’s why we are cutting taxes for working people.
“Today’s announcement means that by April, Liberal Democrats will have cut your income tax bill by £600 a year.
“Liberal Democrats want fairer taxes, which is why we made raising the tax-free allowance our number one priority at the General Election – so important that we put it on the front page of our manifesto.
“When times are tough, with rising bills and wages not keeping pace with inflation, we want to give people real, practical help.
“Cutting Income Tax will not deal with all of those problems, but it will help. And I hope it will make a big difference to every family in this country.”

You can help Liberal Democrats keep cutting your taxes by supporting our Fairer Tax campaign at http://www.fairertax.org/

Liberal Democrats: Fighting for Fairer Taxes

Launched at the Lib Dems Autumn Conference in Brighton, the Fairer Tax campaign seeks to make sure that the super rich pay their fair share and to cut the tax bill of ordinary people.
If successful this would mean that since entering the Coalition, Liberal Democrats will have cut the Income Tax bill of most people by £700.
Commenting on the campaign, Deputy Prime Minister  Nick Clegg said: “In government, the Liberal Democrats have already delivered a 10% increase in Capital Gains Tax from 18% to 28%, a new tax on sales houses worth over £2 million and a £10 billion new bank tax.”
“But we believe we can make taxes even fairer.”
“That’s why we’re calling for tax loopholes to be closed and a new wealth tax on the super rich to be introduced. This should then allow us to cut the Income Tax bill of hardworking people.”
If you are interested in joining the Fairer Tax campaign, or learning more about how Liberal Democrats are working to deliver fairer taxes in tough times, please visit our campaign website: http://www.fairertax.org/

Baker: Reducing Fare Rises for Passengers

The Liberal Democrats in government have kept their commitment to fair pricing for rail passengers. As a result, next year’s planned rail fare rise (initially RPI inflation, plus three per cent) has been capped at inflation plus one per cent. This will save over 250,000 season ticket holders up to £200 over the next two years.

The money to fund the cap in fare rises will come from savings in the Department of Transport’s budget, and the government are committed to ending the era of above-inflation fare rises when the costs of maintaining and investing in the rail network allow.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Lib Dem Norman Baker, said “The Lib Dems have been making the case for a fair deal for passengers for years, and bringing down fares is the main thing I’ve been fighting for. But until the public finances are in a state that lets us do that, my priority is to keep the increase as low as possible.”

He added that the Liberal Democrats are “absolutely committed to ensuring the travelling public are not unfairly saddled with the cost of backfilling for years of underinvestment in the rail network.”

Davey: Progress on Renewables

Ed Davey, Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, today spoke about the measures the government has taken to enhance the role of solar PV (photovoltaics) and biomass in creating an environmentally-sustainable energy mix in the UK.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has now proposed a range of new rates for solar projects covered by the Renewables Obligation – the commitment to producing a percentage of energy from renewable sources that energy companies are required by legislation to fulfil. Support levels for solar PV generation will be roughly equivalent to the rates that govern individual Feed-In Tariffs.

Commenting, Ed Davey said “Solar PV and biomass are important technologies as we move towards a more low-carbon energy mix.”

“Our proposals are designed to encourage the most economically sound solar PV projects under the Renewables Obligation and ensure value for money for the consumer.”

A full briefing on solar PV and biomass proposals can be found here

Green Deal – Update

Last month, the Treasury provided the Green Deal Finance Company with a £7 million loan that will enable Green Deal Providers to access finance for their work from early 2013. In addition, the Treasury has announced that the Green Deal will be an early candidate for the earliest wave of new infrastructure guarantees – safeguarding the finance necessary to begin the mass renovation of homes next year.

Registration has also opened for all providers who wish to become Green Deal providers to express their interest and all authorised providers will display a Green Deal Quality Mark to assure full protection for all consumers who take this opportunity.

To learn more about the Green Deal, click here
Image: (CC) Flickr/DECC

Lib Dems: Biggest Reform in Social Care in over 60 Years

Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Care Services Paul Burstow has announced the most radical reform of social care in the UK in over 60 years.

These changes will mean that people will no longer have to face selling their own homes to pay for their care. They will fix a fragmented and confusing care system, end the incidence of ‘postcode lotteries’ in care, improve training across the board, and shift the system’s focus to prevention instead of endless crisis-management.

The government’s aim is to create a social care system that is modern and comprehensive, fair and sustainable.

Top Ten Changes in Social Care White Paper:
  • No more ‘clock-watching’ homecare visits
  • New rights for the UK’s five million carers to be enshrined in law
  • ‘National eligibility threshold’ will finally remove current ‘postcode lotteries’
  • £200 million investment in specially-adapted housing for older and disabled people
  • New code of conduct and national minimum training standards to put dignity and respect at the core of care training
  • Doubling available training and apprenticeships to create 100,000 new care workers by 2017
  • £300 million to be invested in better integration of care & support between social care and the NHS
  • More clear and practical information for families and making it easier to report bad care
  • £3.8 million investment to stop army veterans having to use injury compensation to pay for care
  • Encouraging people into work by excluding earned income from residential care charges
These ten changes are going to make a massive difference to the quality and sustainability of care in the United Kingdom.

Getting our care arrangements right is one of the most important decisions that the government will have to make this term, and those decisions have been made all the better through the contributions of Liberal Democrat ministers to the government’s proposals.

You can read more about the government’s proposals for care and support reforms at the Department of Health website here.
CC: Image courtesy of Dept of Health on Flickr

Supporting an Elected House of Lords


The Liberal Democrats are proud to support the ‘Fix Parliament’ campaign for a majority-elected House of Lords.

After 100 years of promises, papers, reports and Commissions, it is time for the government to take action and deliver a truly democratic second-chamber. There is no excuse nor justification for half of our parliament being appointed at the whim of party leaders to lifetime terms of office – an arrangement that we share in common with Belize, Burkina Faso, and Jordan. There is no excuse for supporting a system that allows some lawmakers to inherit their office – an arrangement that we currently share only with Lesotho. There is no excuse for more than half of Great Britain’s lawmakers to sit in Parliament without an electoral mandate from the public. It is an affront to democracy and it has to end.

Speaking to the Electoral Reform Society, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed some startling facts about the larger half of the UK Parliament:

  • More than 25% of Lords are ex-MP’s
  • 70% owe their place to a party political appointment
  • 50% of the House come from London and the South East alone
  • Only 20% are women
  • 40% trace their educational backgrounds to just 12 private schools

The current House of Lords clearly does not reflect the country it helps to govern.

As Liberal Democrats, we want to see all lawmakers hold their place in parliament only through the will of the British people as expressed in free and fair elections. Whilst only 80% of the Lords will be elected under this reform, this will still be the greatest step forward for our politics since the final extension of the franchise to all women in 1928. Those who would make the perfect the enemy of the good – opposing reform in the name of a 100% elected Lords – are just as conservative as the ermined defenders of unearned privilege sat in the second-chamber today.

We have campaigned for an elected House of Lords for over 100 years, and we will continue the fight for as long as it takes. Every man and woman in Britain is within touching distance of living in a truly democratic state for the first time in our lives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we should all seize with both hands.

More information about the Fix Parliament campaign can be found on their Facebook page.

Vince Cable: Action on Executive Pay

Last week, Lib Dem Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable announced sweeping changes to the way in which top-level executives have their pay and bonuses decided. This change, described by the government as the ‘most comprehensive reforms of the governance framework for directors’ remuneration in a decade’, will:

  • Give company shareholders binding votes on both executive-pay policy and exit payments (the amount of money an executive receives if they resign or leave their contract early)
  • Boost transparency – allowing the link between pay and performance to be clearly drawn
  • Ensure that the reforms have a lasting impact by keeping the shareholders in the driving seat and maintaining their recent boardroom activism
Vince said:

“At a time when the global economy remains fragile, it is neither sustainable nor justifiable to see directors’ pay rising at 10 per cent a year, while the performance of listed companies lags behind and many employees are having their pay cut or frozen.

“In January we kicked off a national debate aimed at encouraging shareholders to become more actively engaged as company owners in better aligning directors’ pay with performance. I have been greatly encouraged by the ‘shareholder spring’ and I want to see that momentum sustained. That is why I am bringing forward legislation to strengthen the powers of shareholders through a binding vote on pay.”

As Liberal Democrats, we believe that the success should run through UK business from top to bottom. We want to see the values of fairness and responsibility in the setting of top-level pay, and we want to see proportionality – no more rewards for failure, no huge executive increases at the expense of low-paid workers below – at the heart of British business.

You can find more information on the upcoming Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill here.
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