Saturday, April 30, 2022

PM must tell Neil Parish to resign

Responding to the news that [Tiverton MP] Neil Parish has had the Conservative whip withdrawn after two female MPs said he had watched pornography in the Commons, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

"If Boris Johnson had any shred of decency left, he would tell Neil Parish to resign immediately.

“In any other workplace this would count as gross misconduct and the person responsible would lose their job. Parliament should be no different.

“We don't need to insult the women MPs who witnessed this with a lengthy investigation. All his bosses need to do is ask for his devices and look at his viewing history, this isn’t rocket science.”  

Thursday, April 28, 2022

New stats show 1.8 million crimes went unsolved in 2021

Four in ten crimes went unsolved by the police in 2021, new official figures show, with an average of 5,000 unsolved crimes every day.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that overall crime was 18% higher in 2021 compared with 2019, driven by a 54% increase in fraud and computer misuse.

Liberal Democrat analysis of new Home Office figures show that 1.8 million cases were closed by the police in 2021 without a suspect even being identified – 39% of all cases closed.

Responding to the statistics, Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: 

“Crime is soaring on the Conservatives’ watch. They are failing our communities, making people less safe, and letting far too many criminals get away with it.

“Boris Johnson and Priti Patel love to talk tough on crime, but they’re failing to deliver the extra police officers they promised, or even to get the basics right. As a result, too many people’s lives are being ruined by burglaries, anti-social behaviour, fraud and scams.

“Liberal Democrats are calling for proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on cutting crime. These local elections are a chance to send the Conservatives a message and elect Liberal Democrat councillors who will work hard to prevent crime and make sure people can truly feel safe in their communities.”

Energy Bills: Chancellor's comments are tone deaf

Responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak claiming it would be "silly" to give more support on energy bills, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

"These comments are totally tone deaf in the middle of a cost of living emergency. 

“Families being hit by soaring energy bills need support right now, instead Rishi Sunak is clobbering them with unfair taxes.

"The Chancellor should offer an emergency tax cut to help families now, not make more vague promises about the future."

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Calls for Wales-wide investigation of children's services

Following the conviction of a couple in Bridgend for the murder of a child who had been taken off the "at risk" register, there have been calls for an independent review of social work as it affects children. Welsh Liberal Democrats support Prof. Donald Forrester and the British Association of Social Workers Cymru in their identification of a need for such a review, which has never been carried out in Wales, alone among the home countries.

Figures reveal Conservatives breaking police pledge as recruitment stalls

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservatives for being soft on crime, as new official figures show they are failing on their manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 more police officers.

A total of 4,814 extra officers were recruited in the second year of the uplift, well short of the Government’s 6,000 target. It means the recruitment rate would have to increase by a third, to 6,424 extra officers in the final year of the policy to meet the target of 20,000 by March 2023.

Senior police chiefs are starting to warn that the target won’t be met. Acting Met Commissioner Stephen House told MPs last week that “We are experiencing issues in the Met and I think other large forces are starting to experience recruiting challenges.”

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


“The record is clear: the Conservatives are soft on crime. On their watch, too many communities are plagued by crime and anti-social behaviour, and too many criminals are getting away with it.


“This is turning into yet another of Boris Johnson’s broken promises. By failing to recruit the police officers we need, the Conservatives are letting down victims of crime and communities across the country.


“Liberal Democrats are fighting for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on cutting crime. By voting Liberal Democrat at these elections, you can send a message to the Conservatives that they can't take people for granted anymore.”


Ed Davey demands rural cost of living rescue package including heating oil price cap

  • Lib Dems call for rescue package for struggling families in rural areas

  • Conservatives accused of leaving rural communities “out in the cold” after refusing to cap price of heating oil

  • Top 25 areas most reliant on heating oil revealed

The Liberal Democrats have demanded a rural cost of living rescue package, including a cap on heating oil prices to help struggling families off the gas grid. The party warned that the Conservatives are leaving rural communities “out in the cold” by refusing to help with soaring bills.

Rural communities are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis with soaring heating bills, petrol prices and food costs all hitting struggling families.

The rural cost of living rescue package would include a cap on heating oil costs to support the estimated 1.5 million homes off the gas grid, and bringing in an emergency tax cut slashing VAT from 20% to 17.5%, saving families an average of £600 each. The VAT cut would save a motorist £48 a year on filling up their car.

The Conservative government has refused to cap prices for heating oil, leaving consumers vulnerable to soaring prices. In response to a recent parliamentary question, a Conservative minister said: “A price cap is not necessary as consumers can shop around and switch suppliers more easily than for gas and electricity.”

Prices of heating oil have more than doubled to around 95p a litre, compared to 45p in August 2021. It means the cost of heating oil for the average household is expected to soar by between £700 to £1,700 this year.

Former Energy Secretary and Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey is calling for an energy price cap for heating oil to help families in rural areas struggling to get by. Under the party’s proposals, the government would step in to cover the cost if oil goes above the set price, protecting families from soaring prices and preventing small business suppliers from going bust. 

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed the top 25 areas most reliant on heating oil. Mid Suffolk has the highest proportion, where just under 30% of homes use heating oil, followed by Eden in Cumbria (25%) and North Norfolk (24%). Other hard hit areas include Shropshire (15%), South Cambridgeshire (13%) and South Somerset (12%).

It comes as the outgoing Deputy President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) and ex-Conservative Stuart Roberts announced he has joined the Liberal Democrats, warning that the Conservatives are letting down farmers and rural communities.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“This Conservative government is leaving rural communities out in the cold through their stubborn refusal to help those facing soaring heating bills.

“People are being plunged into fuel poverty but instead of helping, the Conservatives are raising unfair taxes again and again.

“The Liberal Democrats are demanding a rescue package for rural areas, through a cap on heating oil prices and an emergency tax cut to save struggling families six hundred pounds. 

“Next week’s local elections are a chance to send Boris Johnson a message that people in rural areas are fed up of being taken for granted. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats will help elect a strong local champion who will fight for a fair deal for their community.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Shocking figures reveal one police station closed every two weeks since 2015

217 police stations and counters across England have closed since 2015, shocking new figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

It's the equivalent of over one police station closing every two weeks in the past seven years under the Conservatives.

The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats through FOI requests to every police force in England and Wales, with responses

London and the South East, in particular, have seen a staggering fall in the number of police stations. Thames Valley Police, responsible for policing in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has closed the most locations, with 23 stations and 44 counters closed since 2015. This includes 41 closures in 2016 alone. 

The Metropolitan Police is second in the country on stations closed, with 36 since 2015 – 31 of them in 2017. 

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will tomorrow (Tuesday 26 April) visit the site of a closed police station in Oxfordshire to demand more investment in community policing. 

Across England and Wales a total of 217 police stations and counters have been closed in the last seven years, with an average of 31 closures a year since 2015 – more than one per fortnight.

Ahead of the local elections this May, the Liberal Democrats are urging a return to community policing, with a three-point plan to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour and reverse years of Conservative neglect:

  • Restore proper community policing, where officers are more visible, trusted and known personally to local people.

  • Reverse Conservative cuts to youth services by investing an extra £500 million a year via a ring-fenced fund to Local Authorities

  • Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the £50 million savings to invest in frontline policing and solving crimes.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said

“Shuttered police stations have become a symbol of the Conservatives’ failure on crime. Too many people feel unsafe on their own streets, and too many criminals are getting away with it.

“The Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on cutting crime. 

“This May people will have a chance to send Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a message. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for more investment in our police and youth services to help make our communities safer.”

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Johnson desperate for bargain basement trade deal

Responding to the Prime Minister's press conference in New Delhi, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

“At this dark moment, we must make clear to all our allies that you cannot be neutral in the face of the war crimes being meted out against Ukrainians by Putin’s forces. This must be a matter of principle for the UK - sadly, Johnson seems so desperate for a bargain basement trade deal that he is keeping quiet. 

“We should be standing tall on the world stage and stating that the UK expects any country which seeks increased access to our market not to bypass sanctions placed on Russia.
“Johnson won’t tell the truth abroad and he won’t tell the truth at home. He is a national embarrassment and an international one too."

Friday, April 22, 2022

Ed Davey: Conservative MPs too ashamed to defend Johnson but too weak to sack him

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has warned that Conservative MPs who are keeping Boris Johnson in his job are “guilty by association,” adding they are “too ashamed to defend him but too weak to sack him.”

Ed Davey is calling on Conservative MPs to sack Boris Johnson so the government can focus on helping families facing a cost of living emergency. 

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, he singled out Conservative MPs from Winchester to Wimbledon whose constituents are furious about Boris Johnson breaking the rules and lying about it. 

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“The country deserves a Government that is focused on tackling the cost-of-living emergency, and a Prime Minister it can trust.

“That’s why Boris Johnson’s behaviour is so profoundly damaging.  It shows he can’t be trusted, after breaking the very laws he himself introduced and told everyone else to follow.

“By keeping the Prime Minister in his job, Conservative MPs have made themselves guilty by association. They are now too ashamed to defend him, but too weak to sack him.

“If Conservative MPs don’t hold the Prime Minister to account for his law-breaking and lies, 

they should know that their constituents will hold them to account at the ballot box.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Owen Paterson's successor writes to Tory MPs ahead of crunch vote

Winner of the North Shropshire by-election, Helen Morgan MP, has written to Tory MPs warning them to learn their lessons from previous sleaze scandals.

MPs will vote tomorrow on whether to refer the Prime Minister for investigation by the Committee of Privileges following his repeated lies on partygate. Helen Morgan MP has written to 50 Blue Wall Tory MPs with slim majorities over the Liberal Democrats who are most vulnerable to a public backlash over their support for Boris Johnson. 

Helen gained Owen Paterson's constituency by overturning a massive Conservative majority with a 34% swing amid news headlines of Conservative sleaze and scandal. 

In a letter to Blue Wall Tory MPs, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire Helen Morgan says:

"This week marks five months since I won the North Shropshire by-election in the wake of a Conservative party drowning in sleaze and scandal. 

"It is sad to see your party has learnt nothing since then.

"The power is in your hands. You have the numbers to stop this stitch-up.  So what will it be: sleaze and scandal? Or decency and integrity?  

"The writing is on the wall for the Conservative party - your constituents will not be taken for granted. 

"The public expects MPs to carry out their patriotic duty tomorrow. British democracy is being dragged through the mud. You cannot prop up this sham of a Prime Minister any longer.  

"Our country desperately needs leadership right now, instead we have a law-breaking and lying Prime Minister. Now is the time to act."

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Partygate vote: Tory MPs must do their patriotic duty

Responding to the news that Boris Johnson will face a vote by MPs on Thursday over lying to Parliament about partygate, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: 

“The British public have declared Boris Johnson a liar. Now it’s time for Parliament to do the same.

“The country cannot afford a Prime Minister who breaks the law and lies about it, especially when families are facing a cost-of-living crisis.

“Johnson has taken the British people for fools for far too long, and it’s time for Conservative MPs to show where they stand. They must do their patriotic duty and kick Boris Johnson out of Downing Street once and for all.”

Brandon Lewis parking fine comments an "insult to bereaved families"

Responding to Minister of State for Security Brandon Lewis' comments this morning comparing Boris Johnson breaking his own lockdown rules with previous ministers receiving parking tickets or speeding fines, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"The excuses of Conservative ministers are getting more pathetic by the day. There is a massive difference between getting a parking fine and Boris Johnson breaking his own lockdown rules.

"It is an insult to bereaved families and all those who made huge sacrifices while Johnson partied in Number 10. Conservative MPs need to discover their moral backbone and sack Johnson instead of defending the indefensible."

Friday, April 15, 2022

Rwanda: Total dysfunction at the Home Office

Responding to Boris Johnson's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, after Refugee Minister Lord Harrington ruled out such a move just last week, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

"The Prime Minister and Home Secretary announcing a refugees policy that the Refugees Minister doesn't even know about shows the total dysfunction at the heart of the Home Office.

"If the Home Office can't even manage a press release properly, how on earth will they manage this new offshoring system?"

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Cladding: People still trapped in unsafe homes

Responding to the announcement of an agreement between developers and the Government regarding cladding on high rise buildings, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

“It’s right that developers pay to remove dangerous cladding from buildings, but while Ministers continue to design convoluted schemes people are facing a fifth miserable year stuck in homes which are not safe.
“As campaigners have called for again and again, we need an unequivocal commitment that innocent leaseholders won’t have to shoulder the cost of remediation - whether that’s external cladding or internal fixes. 
“Liberal Democrats continue to call for the government to stump up the cash so we can make homes safe, and then go after those responsible.”

Shared Prosperity Fund: Smoke and mirrors from a government in chaos

Responding to the Government launching the allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:
“This announcement is yet another attempt at smoke and mirrors from a government in chaos. There's no new money for local communities and it does nothing to support the millions of families who are struggling with soaring energy bills right now.“This shallow effort to shore up the sinking ship by re-heating announcements from months ago will not help get Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak off the hook.“Ministers should be giving families real help – by holding an emergency budget that will help people with their energy bills and slash VAT to put £600 back in people's pockets."

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

We now have a criminal Prime Minister

Davey on inflation: This country needs a new Chancellor

Responding to inflation reaching 7% this morning, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

"Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are too busy trying to save their own jobs rather than saving pensioners and families from spiralling prices."These new inflation figures are frankly frightening. Every day the cost of living crisis worsens yet our law-breaking leaders simply don't seem to care. This is no way to govern Britain."This country needs a new Chancellor in place next week to deliver an emergency budget to protect households on the brink. Pensioners and hard pressed families need urgent help with their energy bill and unfair tax hikes to be immediately reversed. It is now or never to save Britain from this cost of living crisis, and it is clear this Government is not up to the job."

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Lib Dems report Sunak to Standards Commissioner over failure to declare multi-million investments

The Liberal Democrats have reported Rishi Sunak to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards - after accusing him of failing to declare details of his multi-million pound investments prior to entering the Cabinet.

Last week Sunak referred himself to Lord Geidt, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, regarding his Ministerial register of interests. However, Liberal Democrats are today reporting Sunak to Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, regarding his declaration of interests as an MP from 2015-2019 before entering the Cabinet.

When Sunak became Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019, he reported that he had investments in a blind trust, which means he is not party to the details of his own assets. However, Sunak did not declare these investments under the MPs’ register of financial interests during the previous four years. This includes his time as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019.

Under the MPs’ code of conduct, Members of Parliament are required to register, “Any relevant financial interest…if the Member nevertheless considers that it meets the test of relevance; in other words, that it might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions or words as a Member”.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper has labelled Sunak’s failure to declare the details of his financial interests as “shameful” and has written to Kathryn Stone, urging her to investigate the situation.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling for the Chancellor to finally be transparent about his financial interests, by publishing the details he holds about his blind trust - including: how much money it contains, how much income he receives from it, how much tax he pays on that income, and what legal arrangements are in place to ensure it is actually ‘blind’. 

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

“Sunak’s continual failure to declare the details of his investments is a kick in the teeth to the millions of people who are paying the price for his unfair tax rises - now, these new revelations suggest he’s broken the rules of the House of Commons. 

“The British public deserve to know whether, when he was a backbench MP, Sunak’s substantial investments influenced his actions in Parliament in any way. But, because he didn’t declare his interests back then, we have no idea whether they did. That’s why we need an urgent investigation into whether he broke the rules. 

“It’s also finally time for the Chancellor to come clean about the extent of his business interests. He must publish the details about all his investments immediately so we can finally get some answers.”

Wage growth: Conservative cost of living nightmare confirmed

Responding to today's ONS stats which show that UK wage growth has failed to keep pace with the rising cost of living, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

“Today’s figures confirm the Conservative cost of living nightmare facing millions of UK families.

“People are rightly angry with the Chancellor for refusing to throw them a lifeline when their incomes are being squeezed.
“Rishi Sunak should stop ignoring people's pain and slash VAT, putting an average of £600 into the pockets of every UK family.”

GDP stats: Chancellor too busy fighting scandals to help our economy

Responding to the news that UK GDP grew by a mere 0.1% in February, following 0.8% growth in January, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said: 

"These figures show the economy is being hit hard as the cost of living crisis bites. 

“Instead of putting all his energy into protecting people and growing the economy, the Chancellor is instead in a fight for his political livelihood after this weeks scandalous revelations. 

"Hard-pressed families are facing no end of hardship with soaring energy bills and unfair tax hikes and Ministers are sitting on their hands as both people and the economy suffer.”

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Lib Dems table Bill to force Sunak to reveal family tax arrangements

The Liberal Democrats have drawn up draft legislation to force the Chancellor and any other government ministers to reveal whether they or their spouses claim non-domiciled status or have holdings in overseas tax havens.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has drafted the Ministerial Tax Residency Status Bill and will present it to the House of Commons once Parliament has returned from Easter recess. 

It was recently revealed that Rishi Sunak was listed as a beneficiary of tax haven trusts set up in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands and held by his wife Akshata Murthy – just days after it emerged she was using her non-domiciled status to avoid paying taxes in the UK.

Under the terms of the Liberal Democrat Bill, Rishi Sunak and any other government minister would be required to disclose whether any member of their household claims non-domiciled status for tax purposes, what overseas jurisdictions they pay tax in and if they are listed as the beneficiaries of trusts held abroad including in tax havens.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

“Rishi Sunak’s continued refusal to answer basic questions about his family’s tax arrangements simply won’t wash. It shows he is completely out of touch with people struggling to pay their bills.

“The public deserve to know what other steps the Chancellor’s household may have taken to reduce their own tax bill while he hammers families around the country with unfair tax hikes.

“We have a draft law ready and waiting for when Parliament returns, to force Sunak and other ministers to reveal if their households are not paying their fair share by using tax havens."

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Murty statement: Taxes must be backdated in full

Responding to the statement from Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty announcing she will now start paying UK tax on her overseas income, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

"This shows that Rishi Sunak's wife could have paid her fair share of taxes in this country all along, despite his initial claims.

"Doing something just because you've been found out isn't good enough.

"Sunak's household now needs to backdate these taxes in full.

“Perhaps then the Chancellor will feel he can afford proper help for families struggling with soaring energy bills."

Friday, April 08, 2022

Brand Putin’s armies and mercenaries as terrorists in response to atrocities

Following the atrocities uncovered in Bucha and Irpin, Liberal Democrats are today calling for Russian military units involved to be proscribed by the UK Government. 

In his address to the House of Commons in March 2022, President Zelensky asked Parliament to, “please recognise [Russia] as a terrorist state”. 

The Liberal Democrats are proposing the use of proscription orders as part of a renewed package of measures in response to the atrocities being committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. 

The proposed measures include the expulsion of Russian diplomats based in Britain; and for the UK to lead calls at the ICC to issue an arrest warrant for Putin. 

The use of proscription orders would designate Russian military units and mercenary groups, including the Wagner Group, as terrorist organisations.  

Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson commented:

“In light of the atrocities in Bucha, we cannot offer empty words while Putin and his soldiers continue to butcher innocent Ukrainian civilians. 

“Last month, President Zelensky called on Parliament to recognise Russia as a terrorist state. It is clear beyond all doubt that Russian mercenaries and military units are waging a war of terror on the Ukrainian people.

“By proscribing these groups, they will be branded as terrorist organisations. This will make anyone engaging with them, anywhere in the world, in violation of UK law - putting pressure on those who have dealings with Putin’s mercenaries to pick a side.

“We must also work with our international partners to ramp up the pressure on Putin. That means following our allies and expelling Russian diplomats - and treating Putin as the international criminal he is by leading calls for the ICC to issue an international arrest warrant.”

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Selling off UK vaccine manufacturing centre is "ridiculously short-sighted"

Responding to the news that the government-funded Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) has been sold to the US firm Catalent, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

"Selling this vital infrastructure is a ridiculously short-sighted move that risks leaving us less prepared for the next pandemic. Vaccines can take decades to develop and selling this facility shows this Conservative Government’s lack of long-term planning. 

“This facility was purpose built with more than £200m worth of taxpayers’ money to produce vaccines. With this Government wasting eye-watering amounts of public money and writing off money spent fraudulently, the Tories must come clean on how much this facility has been sold for.

“The Prime Minister himself underlined how important this centre would be to protect against Covid and future pandemics. The public has a right to know why he has now changed his mind.

“The Government must be totally transparent about why this facility is being sold, for how much, and whether this will impact the UK’s resilience in the face of possible future pandemics.”

Sanctions: Johnson must publish Golden Visa review

Responding to the new wave of UK sanctions against Russia, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

"Putin and his armies are butchering innocent Ukrainians. These sanctions were urgently needed - but while Ukrainians are massacred, we cannot stop there. 

"It’s time to treat Putin’s armies and mercenaries as the terrorists they are, using UK proscription orders. We should be leading calls for the ICC to issue an international arrest warrant for Putin. 

"In the UK, too many of Putin’s cronies are still getting away with it. The Conservative Government has sat on the golden visas review for over four years. They slam the door in Ukrainian refugees’ faces, yet won’t tell us how many Kremlin-linked oligarchs they rolled out the red carpet for.

"The review must be published - and any oligarchs who have been flagged as a national security risk should be kicked out of the UK."

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis

  • Rishi Sunak set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over next four years due to soaring prices
  • Typical family to pay £430 more in VAT next year, on top of National Insurance rise coming into force today

  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey launches local election campaign with call to slash VAT and save struggling families £600

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over the next four years, as skyrocketing inflation leads to higher prices in the shops, official forecasts have revealed.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows this means a typical family will pay an estimated £430 more in VAT next year, compared to what they paid in 2021-22. The figures are taken from the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. 

The tax raid comes on top of the Conservative government's manifesto-breaking increases to Income Tax and National Insurance, which come into force today and are set to leave the typical family £535 a year worse off even before the extra VAT hits. 

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will put the issue at the heart of the party’s local elections campaign today (Wednesday 6 April), urging the government to tackle the cost of living crisis by cutting taxes for struggling families.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency cut to VAT, slashing the top rate from 20% to 17.5% for one year, a move that would save families an average of around £600. The plans would also give a boost to struggling high street businesses by encouraging spending, and help keep inflation under control by reducing prices in the shops.

Speaking ahead of the party’s local election campaign launch today, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“Families are facing soaring energy bills and desperately need a tax cut to help them make ends meet. But instead of helping, the Conservatives are breaking their promises by raising taxes again and again.

“These elections are an opportunity to send a message to this Conservative government  that they can’t afford to take people for granted any longer.

“Right across the country, people are turning to the Liberal Democrats because they know we will listen and stand up for you and your community. We will fight for a fair deal that puts money into the pockets of struggling families through an emergency tax cut.”

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Conversion Therapy: Chaotic U-turns shredding UK's reputation

Responding to reports that over 80 LGBT and HIV organisations have pulled out of the government’s planned international LGBT conference due to their u-turn on banning trans conversion therapy, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

“The UK should be leading the world on LGBT+ equality, but Number 10’s chaotic U-turns are shredding our country’s reputation.

“The global LGBT+ conference in London this summer should be a huge opportunity to tackle discrimination and inequality around the world. It is far too important for the Government to squander like this.

“By breaking their promise to ban conversion therapy completely, the Conservatives are letting down the whole LGBT+ community. They need to ban conversion therapy in full - as they pledged to."

Channel 4 privatisation is "trashing a uniquely British legacy"

Responding to the news that the government is pressing ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4, Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Spokesperson Jamie Stone said:

“Yet again, the Conservatives have shown they care more about lining the pockets of the super rich than supporting a great public institution. 

“Even Margaret Thatcher understood the huge power of Channel 4 as a force for creativity and innovation that belonged to all of us without costing taxpayers a penny.

“Occasionally, we as a country manage to magic up a world-renowned gem into being and Channel 4 is a perfect example. And yet this Government seems hellbent on trashing this uniquely British legacy and undermining jobs and investment in the creative sector.

“The Liberal Democrats will oppose these dangerous plans in Parliament and stand up for the quality and independence of British broadcasting.”

Monday, April 04, 2022

Conservative MPs must rediscover their moral compass and get rid of the PM

Responding to government minister Simon Hart's comments this morning that "the world has moved on" from partygate, Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine MP said:

"These comments are an insult to every family that suffered in lockdown while Downing Street partied.

"Boris Johnson's Conservatives have got something else coming if they think the public has moved on from this shameful scandal. 

"Boris Johnson broke the rules he asked us all to obey then repeatedly lied about it. Conservative MPs must rediscover their moral compass and get rid of him."

Friday, April 01, 2022

Windrush: A Conservative Government Scandal

Responding to the progress report on the Windrush Scandal, published by independent expert Wendy Williams who was appointed to advise the Home Office, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“The Conservative Government’s abysmal response to the Windrush Scandal is now a scandal all of its own.

“Priti Patel has utterly failed to get a grip on the broken immigration system or scrap the hostile environment that saw innocent people wrongly detained, deported and made homeless. In fact, she is only making things worse. Her failure to sort out the Home Office is clear from the appalling chaos and delays facing Ukrainian refugees, even as families across the UK want to welcome them with open arms.

“Conservative Ministers must finally admit their mistake and take the Compensation Scheme out of the hands of the discredited Home Office. It should never have been left to the Home Office – which caused so much harm in the first place – to put things right. That’s why Liberal Democrats called for the compensation scheme to be fully independent from the start. Then we can finally get on with righting the wrongs done to the Windrush Generation and restoring public confidence in the immigration system.”