Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Johnson's Crime Initiative: "Beggars belief" officers weren't consulted

Responding to the news that senior police officers say they weren't consulted on the Government's new crime initiative, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

"It beggars belief that the Government would show such contempt for the police and victim groups alike.
"Far too often they are taking people for granted.
"They would rather write their policies on the back of an envelope than consult those on the front line who already know that increased stop and search doesn’t reduce violent crime."

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The government must stop putting paperwork over people

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has called upon the Chancellor to be "on the side of the self-employed", as a million people face being slapped with a tax bill on money they never earned.

Income tax bills landing at the doors of the self-employed and freelancers of this country at the end of July will be calculated based upon their earnings in 2019-20 - neglecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on business and trade.

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Davey sets out five urgent actions required of HMRC to take into account Covid losses on earnings, focused around clear and proper communication with taxpayers.

Leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey MP writes in the letter to the Chancellor:

"Covid-19 has wrought havoc on the self-employed. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, cleaners, childcare providers and millions more have seen their incomes evaporate, as their businesses ground to a halt and people rightly stayed at home to save lives. 

"Yet in a week’s time, they face being slapped with a bill from HMRC that does not recognise this, because the calculation will be based on how much they earned before the pandemic.

The letter goes on to state:

"HMRC directed by you needs to show strong leadership by being on the side of the self-employed in this country. Placing the onus on a legion of sole traders and freelancers, who contribute so much to our culture and economy, to foot the Covid bill is the complete antithesis of strong leadership.

"No one must be left behind as we look forward to a green recovery from this pandemic. It’s time to stop putting paperwork over people."

Friday, July 23, 2021

NI Protocol: Johnson and Frost are taking us all for mugs

Reacting to Lord Frost's statement on the NI Protocol, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for 

Home Affairs and Northern Ireland Alistair Carmichael MP said:

"This is a joke. The Government is taking us all for mugs when they say this mess could not have been 
predicted. They signed up to the Protocol knowing full well businesses would be caught up in a game 
of political football. It is time to get a grip and sort it out.
"Their confrontational attitude will get us nowhere. Instead, they must focus on working together with 
the EU to help those people caught in the middle of it all.
"The reality is that a solution to the Protocol’s problems is on the table by aligning with animal and food 
standards, which is what businesses want. That has to be the focus of all our efforts going forward."

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Davey on aid cut: Broken promise will switch off Blue Wall voters in droves

Responding to the Government winning a vote to abandon its commitment on international development spending, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP said: 

"Boris Johnson has just switched off millions of Conservative voters by callously breaking his promise and abandoning millions of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our world.

"It's decisions like this that will make millions of voters, especially in the Blue Wall, move away from the Conservatives in droves. This Conservative Government has lost touch with the values of our country.

"Their unlawful tests for aid spending are the height of cynicism - as they were designed never to be met. The 0.7% target has been jettisoned as a result, and the law broken yet again by this Prime Minister.

“This Johnson cut is costing lives, stopping girls from going to school and putting a wrecking ball through vital projects like tackling the climate crisis. In the same year we host COP 26, Johnson is about to cut our global climate efforts off at the knee cap. It is a national embarrassment.

"Liberal Democrats have been making the case for the 0.7% target for over fifty years, and we will not stop now. It is vital that this historic mistake - which will cause hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths - is reversed."

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

The Prime Minister has turned away from the scientific advice before and it ended in terrible consequences

Responding to the press conference by the Prime Minister in Downing Street, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Ed Davey said:
“I hope that Boris Johnson’s desire to remove restrictions in a few weeks is driven by the national interest and not because his backbenchers are getting restless.
“The Prime Minister has turned away from the scientific advice before and it ended in terrible consequences for our country. This time he must make it clear that the experts agree that ending restrictions on 19th July is the right move. 
“Everyone wants the Covid restrictions to end desperately. But lifting restrictions, then seeing cases and hospitalisations skyrocket is not an ending of the crisis.”

Saturday, July 03, 2021

More than 500,000 EU citizens still waiting for Settled Status

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to guarantee that no EU citizen without Settled Status will fall victim to the Hostile Environment, as new figures show that more than half a million people were still waiting for a decision on their application when the deadline hit on Wednesday.


The statistics, published yesterday by the Home Office, show that, as of 30th June, 6,015,400 people had applied to the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, but only 5,446,300 cases had been concluded – meaning there are 569,100 people still waiting for a decision.


The backlog grew by 70% in June alone, as more than 400,000 people applied in the last month before the deadline, while the Home Office only handed out 175,000 decisions.


Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:


“More than half a million people who were promised that they could stay in the UK woke up on Thursday morning not knowing what will happen to their rights. Such a huge amount of anxiety and uncertainty is cruel and unnecessary.


“Priti Patel was warned repeatedly that the Home Office wouldn’t be able to process all these applications by her arbitrary deadline, but she ignored those warnings and this is the result.


“Her stubborn refusal to lift the deadline for Settled Status applications is now causing enormous confusion – not just for half a million EU citizens, but also for the employers, landlords and NHS staff who the Conservatives have turned into border guards with their Hostile Environment laws.


“Priti Patel must honour her promise to EU citizens and guarantee that none of their rights will be reduced. And she must scrap the Hostile Environment to prevent them becoming the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal on an even bigger scale.”