Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Home Secretary Priti Patel of being “asleep at the wheel” in the fight against fraud, after the party revealed that over 22,000 investigations into fraud cases were dropped by police last year.
Analysis of Home Office figures shows that between April 2020 and March 2021, 22,420 fraud cases were closed without a suspect being identified, an increase of 20% on the previous 12 months. Only 9% (4,853) of all the 51,870 cases closed in 2020/21 resulted in a suspect being charged.
The Liberal Democrats are demanding an urgent government strategy to tackle the fraud epidemic, support victims and catch the criminals responsible.
Online fraud has soared during the Covid pandemic, with internet banking fraud more than doubling between 2019 and 2020. Those falling victim to scams are also often not receiving their money back, with just £147 million (47%) of the £312 million of losses to bank transfer fraud being reimbursed last year. [Scale of losses is shown in a pdf here]
At its Autumn conference today (Monday 20 September), the Liberal Democrats will call on the government to step up efforts to tackle fraud and support the estimated 3.5 million people who fall victim to this crime each year. Measures being proposed include naming and shaming banks with the worst records on fraud, making it mandatory for banks to refund blameless victims and requiring social media companies to do more to clamp down on scams on their platforms.
The party is also calling for a real-time warning system for scams to be established allowing people to report suspicious activity, along with an Online Crime Agency to effectively tackle illegal content and activity online.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:
“The country faces a growing fraud epidemic, yet Priti Patel is asleep at the wheel.
“Far too many criminals are getting away with this appalling crime, and far too many victims are being left without justice.
“It is a national scandal that vulnerable people are being abandoned after losing life-changing sums of money.
“The government must urgently toughen up its approach to fraud, ensure victims are refunded and give police the resources they need to catch those responsible.”
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Reacting to new figures which show job vacancies are at a record high, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:
"These figures reveal an unprecedented staffing crisis creating uncertainty for businesses all across the UK, and threatening to hurt our economic recovery.
The Liberal Democrats have branded the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill a missed opportunity after amendments to look at greater financial support for leaseholders facing cladding issues were rejected.
The proposed legislation, which has its third reading in the House of Lords today, was subject to a range of amendments at its second reading - including an amendment from Liberal Democrat peer Kath Pinnock.
Her amendment aimed to ensure the bill looked at what could be done to better support leaseholders being left facing huge bills for fire remediation work to remove dangerous cladding.
However the amendment was defeated after Conservative peers marshalled behind the Government, leaving the bill to advance without it.
Commenting on the advancement of the bill, Liberal Democrat Lords Housing and Communities Spokesperson Baroness Kath Pinnock said:
“The Government has managed the remarkable feat of making a bill about leasehold reform fail to live up to their own promises to leaseholders.
“In its current form, the bill does nothing to help the thousands of leaseholders who are facing eye-watering bills of several thousands of pounds to remove dangerous and unsafe cladding.
“The current situation cannot go on. The Government must commit to doing more to ensure leaseholders get the financial support they need and deserve.”
Speaking today in Parliament ahead of the vote on the government’s manifesto-breaking plans to increase National Insurance, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:
“This is a jobs tax, but much worse than that. It’s a tax on nurses who on average will pay an extra £270 more per year. It’s a tax on our teachers, police and care home workers. the very same people who have kept the country going throughout this pandemic.
“It’s a tax that will disproportionately hit low earners, at a time families are already seeing their income squeezed by the pandemic.
“This is the worst possible time to be hitting families and businesses with a crippling and unfair tax hike.
“Instead of boosting hiring and spending, this will damage confidence and investment. The government is not only breaking its promise to the electorate, it risks breaking the backbone of our economy.”
Monday, September 13, 2021
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
Thursday, September 09, 2021
Responding to reports that the Government plans to send back boats carrying migrants back across the channel, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs Alistair Carmichael MP said:
Tuesday, September 07, 2021
Ahead of tonight's vote on the controversial Elections Bill, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs Alistair Carmichael MP said:
Saturday, September 04, 2021
Responding to reports the Government will scrap the Triple Lock pension guarantee as early as next week, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Christine Jardine MP, said:
"It would be an outrageous betrayal to millions of pensioners if the Government goes ahead with their plans to scrap the Triple Lock.
"The Tories made this promise in their manifesto just two years ago. Clearly that manifesto is no longer worth the paper it was written on.
"The Triple Lock is designed to give long-term financial security to pensioners, particularly those living in poverty and therefore rely on the state pension as their only source of income. Under this Government, we could be going back to the dark days of pensions rising by pennies, rather than pounds."
Reflecting on the series of crises that are erupting under the Conservative Government, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Treasury Christine Jardine MP said: