Corbyn has failed the test of leadership
Responding to Jeremy Corbyn’s interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:
Jeremy Corbyn is still trying to be all things to all people by refusing to declare unambiguously whether he will back a People’s Vote and stop this inevitable Brexit mess. It is cheap and won’t work.
48 hours from the biggest crisis the UK has faced since WW2, the country required leadership from the Leader of the Opposition. Corbyn has sat on the fence and failed that test.
Liberal Democrats are instead listening to people’s concerns and leading the fight to give them the option to remain in the EU with a People’s Vote.
Short-term sentences of 12 months or less must be scrapped now
Responding to the Prisons Minister’s comments that jail sentences of six months or less should be scrapped, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperon Ed Davey said:
Short-term sentences perpetuate the crisis in our overcrowded prisons, cost millions and don’t work to prevent crime. Robust community-based sentences are far more successful in reducing reoffending and the chance of more people becoming victims of crime.
Indications from the Prison Minister that he agrees is testament to the campaigners who have long made this case. However, the Prison Minister does not go far enough. Liberal Democrats demand better.
Our goal must be to transform prisons into places of rehabilitation and recovery, to cut re-offending and make our communities safer. That means urgent action now to scrap prison sentences of 12 months or less, not just six months or less.
Cable: No-deal is a choice and the Govt can stop it
The Prime Minister is expected to say in a speech tomorrow that voting down her deal will undermine democracy and be catastrophic for the country. Responding, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
The increasingly desperate language from the Prime Minister more than suggests a great deal of panic. But she cannot be allowed to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. A chaotic no-deal Brexit is a choice and it is in the gift of the Government to prevent it.
The Prime Minister must end the scaremongering and the uncertainty of a no-deal. If not, Liberal Democrats will use every tool at our disposal to ensure Parliament does.
No matter the Brexit, any Brexit will be bad for jobs, the NHS and reduce our standing in the world. The best way to avoid that national embarassment is with a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.
Causes of mental ill-health in schools must be tackled
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has demanded the causes of mental ill-health in schools be tackled after a House of Commons committee inquiry found that children and young people “face unacceptably long waits” for mental health treatment.
The Public Accounts Committee has today (11th January) published its report into mental health services for children and young people.
The committee concludes that:
- Most young people with a mental health condition do not get the treatment they need
- Government should step up action to increase staff numbers and develop required skills
- Cross-departmental planning must improve, with focus on prevention and early intervention
The committee is demanding new ways of supporting young people’s mental health through prevention and early intervention, particularly in schools.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, and member of the Public Accounts Committee, Layla Moran MP said:
Our report finds that, shamefully, children and young people with mental health conditions are undoubtedly being failed. Mental health staff do a fantastic job but services are under-funded, over stretched and don’t have enough staff to provide a decent service.
Earlier this week the Government published its long-term plan for the NHS, but it is clear that Ministers have not committed enough funding and cross-Departmental planning to really get on top of the mental health crisis.
Liberal Democrats demand better. I want some of the systematic causes of mental ill-health removed from our education system. That means an end to the toxic high-stakes testing culture, abolishing Ofsted, reforming league tables and focusing on decent community, council and youth services to support our young people.
Parliament ‘takes back control’ from a failing Govt
Responding to the Conservative Government defeat on the business motion in the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:
“Parliament has rejected the Prime Minister’s vain attempt to once again kick the Brexit can down the road and run down the clock.
It is right Parliament has ‘taken back control’ from a wayward Prime Minister and this failing Conservative Government.
Liberal Democrats want to go much further and give the power back to the public with a people’s vote and the option to remain in the EU.
Social housing neglect due to lack of political will
Responding to calls from housing charity Shelter for more social housing, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing Wera Hobhouse said:
Conservative Ministers have neglected social housing for far too long. The housing crisis is leaving people unable to afford a home of their own or, even worse, without a roof over their head.
Councils building social homes for rent is not only the quickest and most cost-effective way to produce the maximum amount of homes, but it is so important due to the secure tenancy they offer vulnerable tenants.
The Liberal Democrats welcome Shelter’s call for funding and more social housing. The current lack of social housing results in housing benefit going into the hands of private landlords, rather than councils. What is stopping this from changing is simply the lack of political will.
The Government must put forward an ambitious plan for building new social housing. The housing crisis is a human crisis; Ministers must take responsibility and start making a serious effort fix it.
Lamb: NHS plan fatally undermined by insufficient resources
Responding to the NHS 10-year plan, former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:
Delivering this ambitious plan is likely to be fatally undermined by insufficient resources, a staffing crisis and a failure to address the disastrous situation with social care.
The Government’s commitment to a new focus on prevention rings hollow when the very services which help prevent elderly people ending up in hospital are at breaking point and vital public health budgets are progressively cut back.
The Liberal Democrats will continue to demand that the Government works with other parties to achieve a genuine long term, sustainable settlement for the NHS and social care.
We will keep making the case for a new, dedicated NHS and care tax to guarantee a modern, effective and efficient NHS and care system which will be there for our loved ones when they need it.
A Happy New Year to my readers, and let us hope that Brexit will not happen
Cable: Corbyn offers no real alternative
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has declared the Liberal Democrats offer “a real alternative” following Jeremy Corbyn’s confirmation to The Guardian that if he was Prime Minister Labour would still go ahead with Brexit.
Vince Cable said:
There you have it, Jeremy Corbyn refuses once again to take the blinkers off. He is ignoring the concerns of his own supporters and the economic damage experts warn Brexit will do to the UK economy.
On Brexit, you simply cannot put a cigarette paper between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Working with others, including many in the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats offer a real alternative.
People deserve to be heard, not ignored. That is why the Liberal Democrats are campaigning tooth and nail to give the people a final say on Brexit, including the option to remain in the EU.
Cable: HMV collapse shows urgent need for business rates reform
Responding to the reports that HMV is on the brink of collapsing into administration, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
Although there is nothing to stop the march of technological progress, the issues HMV and other high street stores are facing have been compounded by the out of date business rates system.
While separate action is needed to ensure online retailers pay their fair share of corporation tax, Liberal Democrat proposals to replace the business rates system would offer a lifeline to struggling high streets.
As we witness yet another company about to go into administration, the need for reform is clearly urgent.