Lib Dems to create ambitious £10,000 Skills Wallet for every adult

The Liberal Democrats have set out their 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.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, Sam Gyimah, said:

“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 and 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.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a real plan to build a fairer economy and a brighter future. We will create a new era of learning throughout adult life with Skills Wallets for every individual, providing them with £10,000 to spend on education and training at various stages of their lives.

“By stopping Brexit and investing in our Skills Wallets, 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.”

Lib Dems to waive exorbitant fees for veterans

Today the Liberal Democrats announce that the party will waive the exorbitant leave to remain application fees for members of the Armed Forces who were born outside of the UK. The fees cost a family of four almost £10k.

In recent years the fees for these applications have been increased to exorbitant levels: they now stand at £2,389 per person, despite the unit cost to the Home Office of processing an application being just £243. This means that the cost of applying for a family of four is £9,556. 

These excessive fees have prevented many brave veterans from taking up their right to settle in the UK with their families. Some have been forced to leave the country they have served for and lived in for years; others have remained in the UK without immigration status, unable to work in the country they sought to defend.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary Jamie Stone said:

“Foreign and Commonwealth citizens have a proud legacy of serving our country in the Armed Forces. These excessive fees have prevented many brave veterans and their families from living in the UK and forced many to a life of destitution.

“These men and women risk their lives in the service of our country, and the fact they are treated this way by the Conservative party is yet another horrible example of the hostile environment.

“A Liberal Democrat government will waive the outrageous application fees for members of the Armed Forces on discharge and their families.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ first annual report on local government finance

  • Data from the Trussell Trust shows April to September 2019 to be the busiest half-year period for food banks in their network since the charity opened. 
  • The crisis in social care has been clear for some time but today’s report shows the extent that it is impacting all other areas of local government.
  • The Conservatives, incapable of focusing on anything else but Brexit, have ignored the crisis in social care whilst simultaneously cutting local government funding.
  • Not only are our elderly and most vulnerable people missing out on vital care, with family members having to give up their jobs to fill the gaps in the system, but cuts to local government are having a detrimental impact on our environment, transport, housing and many other local services.
  • Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by ending the continual erosion of local government funding and commit to a real increase in local government funding throughout the Parliament.
  • We will also urgently invest in social care by putting a penny on income tax as well as investing the Remain Bonus from stopping Brexit in public services.

Lib Dems to invest £500 million in youth services to help tackle knife crime

  • The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle soaring levels of knife crime, 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. The party would also make local youth services a statutory service, protecting them from future cuts.
  • The Liberal Democrats 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.

Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system

The Liberal Democrats will today (Sunday 17 November) announce bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. This forms part of the party’s ambitious plans to build a brighter future.

Tory austerity has left a fifth of UK citizens in poverty, unable to afford even the most basic essentials. 

The Liberal Democrats will tackle this crisis by committing £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. Liberal Democrat proposals will prioritise tackling child poverty by abolishing the cruel two-child limit for Universal Credit and ending the unfair benefits cap. 

A Liberal Democrat government will make work pay and tackle in-work poverty, by using part of the Remain bonus – the £50 billion of extra funding that would be generated by stopping Brexit – to restore Work Allowances and introduce a second-earner Work Allowance. A Liberal Democrat government will also invest in boosting the Local Housing Allowance by linking it to average rents in each area.

Liberal Democrat plans to strengthen the UK’s welfare system will protect the most vulnerable and help to build a brighter future. 

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Tim Farron said:

“For too many people in the UK today, working hard and playing by the rules is no longer enough to secure a decent life. Millions of people’s lives have worsened under the Conservatives. Since 2015 they have bungled the roll-out of Universal Credit, made brutal cuts to benefits and introduced their senseless two-child limit that is fuelling child poverty. “The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and invest billions of pounds from the Remain bonus in building a brighter future for those struggling in our society. We will fix our broken welfare system to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.”

Parliament Project hopes to get women into Parliament

Since the Parliament Project’s inception, we’ve supported over 3500 women across England and Scotland to explore their political pathways and gain the knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm to stand for politics at all levels. Coming from diverse backgrounds and parties, we’re proud to have played even some small role in these women’s journeys.

When the 2019 General Election was announced, we thought to ourselves: are any of the fantastic women we’ve had the honour of connecting with taking the plunge this time around? The answer, we soon discovered, is a resounding YES.

From workshops facilitators, speakers, and participants to those who have joined our Peer Support Circles, we’re thrilled to introduce you to ten women from across the UK who we’ve crossed paths with in our work, and who are officially candidates in the 2019 UK General Election. Throughout the campaign, we’ll be sharing more from their journeys and activities, providing a closer look at the campaigning process for aspiring women politicos while cheering them on as members of the Parliament Project family. As always, the Parliament Project remains strictly non-partisan – and we’re thrilled to have alumni running from across the political spectrum! – but we would be remiss to not showcase the incredible progress of some of the women we’ve had the pleasure of engaging with in our work.

See the featured women candidates here

Tory nurse tax ballooning due to immigration health surcharge rise

Tory callous nurse tax
Tory callous Nurse Tax

Today the Liberal Democrats have slammed reports that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have pledged to make all those permanently relocating to the UK to pay an increased surcharge of £625, further increasing what was dubbed by the Liberal Democrats the ‘nurse tax’.

  • The ‘nurse tax’ was the policy outlined just last week by the Tory Party that the Immigration health surcharge and immigration visa fee were being extended to EU health professionals, coming to the UK to work in the NHS.
  • The Tory nurse tax is ballooning due to the immigration health surcharge rise and is an insult to the thousands of people who dedicate their lives coming to work for our health service from the EU.
  • The NHS relies on 20,000 EU nurses, 10,000 EU doctors, and we’ve already lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last 2 years. Without EU doctors and nurses our NHS would not be able to function and our loved ones would not receive the care they need.
  • For the Conservatives to charge people even more money to work in our NHS – when we are already struggling with severe staff shortages – is irresponsible and absurd. 
  • The Liberal Democrats have the solution to the NHS staff crisis: stop Brexit so that we can build a brighter future for our NHS.

Green Liberal Democrats tackling Climate Change

Green Liberal Democrats
Tackling #ClimateChange

LibDems Vs Labour Vs The Green Party

The Liberal Democrats propose:

An emergency ten-year programme of action to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030 – minimising the UK’s impacts on the climate as fast as possible.

A comprehensive plan to decarbonise every sector of the economy and get to net zero by 2045.This covers all sectors: power, heat, transport, aviation, industry, and farming and land use.

A plan not only for what to do but how to do it – including reforming regulation and frameworks for finance and investment, skills, innovation and industrial support, and reshaping the institutions of British government, central and local.

Without these three elements, no plan for net zero is credible. As the IFS said, ‘There is no value in politicians simply competing on targets. They need to spell out the policies that will actually be required to meet the targets and be clear about how the immediate costs will be met.’

We do this; the other parties don’t.

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Liberal Democrats hit the streets in Elloughton

Despite the wind and rain, Linda Johnson and her team were out delivering leaflets to launch her campaign today. Linda said: ‘There was no sign of David Davis though I understand there was a small gathering of people who had paid a tiny amount to see the head of the Brexit Company. As the Brexit Company aren’t standing in Haltemprice and Howden, it seemed odd that he was here!

Flooding in the UK

Flooding in the UK as the River Don breaks its banks, flooding in Venice as it experiences its highest ever tides. As sea-levels are expected to rise at least 19inches in the next 50 years, there will be more flooding. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is building massive lagoons with EU money to hold thousands of gallons of water to help prevent floods and the Liberal Democrats are promising huge investment in more flood defences. It’s too late now to stop massive #climatechange but adopting a green lifestyle to help mitigate it is vital. So far no-one seems to be making a link between climate change and floods. Why not?

Waves in St Mark’s Square as Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years
High waters peaked at 1.87 metres as the flood alarm sounded across the Italian city of canals