Thursday, April 23, 2015

Independent think-tank gives LibDem manifesto highest rating

In its analysis of the parties spending plans, the Institute for Fiscal Studies reported that the Liberal Democrats are the most transparent.

It also said that the Conservatives give a "misleading impression" while Labour give "disappointingly little" information on borrowing and do not provide enough funding for the NHS.

The report states that the Liberal Democrats have been more transparent than the other parties about their overall fiscal plans for the next parliament, in particular setting these out in some detail up to 2017–18.

It also highlights how we would cut borrowing more quickly than Labour and keep our economy strong for the future.

From IFS comparison of post-austerity plans:

The report also notes how we will invest in public services and that under the Liberal Democrats, departmental spending would be £13.2 billion (or 3.6 per cent) higher in real terms in 2019–20 than it was in 2014–15.

Responding to the report David Laws said:
"The IFS could not be clearer - when it comes to the economy the Liberal Democrats are the most transparent and are the party that will end austerity the earliest.

“By contrast, the IFS lift the lid on Tory plans to cut public spending to the bone and accuse them of burying details of their the plans to shrink the state.

“They also shine a light on the sheer scale of Labour’s deficit denial, which includes yet unspecified levels of borrowing, despite starving the NHS of the cash it needs.

“It's now official. Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy and fairer society, and create opportunity for all.”

Labour can't be trusted on the economy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LibDems would help all would-be house owners

Rent to Own will help all renters. Right to Buy has no particular effect on Wales and is a flawed policy anyway.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Liberal Democrat manifesto welcomed by advocates

The Bar Council's response to the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

"Neither main party will protect the Ministry of Justice budget, but judging from today's manifesto pledges from the Liberal Democrats, it looks like politicians are finally addressing the legal profession's concerns about access to justice," Alistair MacDonald QC, Chairman of the Bar, said yesterday.

"In a week of manifesto launches, today feels like it is third time lucky. "Promises were long over-due on reversing the hike in up-front court fees, reviewing tribunal fees, ensuring legal aid is available to those who need it and re-introducing legal aid for judicial review. But today they were delivered.

"The commitment to maintaining a viable, competitive and diverse market of legal aid providers is also one we can fully support.

"The legal sector has campaigned hard, this year in particular, to protect legal professional privilege from heavy-handed surveillance laws. Today we can see that has paid off as the Liberal Democrats have promised that judicial authorisation will be needed to eavesdrop on privileged communications, a safeguard the Bar Council has been demanding for some time. They also propose to introduce a Digital Bill of Rights and to deliver a 'complete overhaul' of surveillance powers in 2016.

"Provided opportunities for clients to be represented and heard in court remain, we support proposals such as promoting mediation and alternative dispute resolution, investment in IT and the development of online justice.

"We also look forward to hearing more about the Liberal Democrat strategy to fill the legal advice gap created by the LASPO cuts on areas including personal debt and social welfare.

"The Bar Council is keen to work with the new Government, whatever its complexion, on all these policy areas. At least some of the concerns voiced by the profession are being heard."