Lib Dems: Short prison sentences for knives don’t work
Responding to the figures showing the number of crimes related to knives and other offensive weapons dealt with by the courts has reached a nine year high, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse:
Both the Justice Secretary and the Prisons Minister have admitted that short prison sentences don’t work and actually increase the risk of re-offending. So why are so many young people still being sent to prison for a few months for carrying knives?
These pointless sentences do nothing to deter young people and offer no chance of rehabilitating them. Instead, they cost millions and only worsen the crisis of overcrowding in our prisons.
The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must urgently bring forward legislation to end pointless short-term sentences and take real action to prevent knife crime: more police officers, more youth services and a proper public health approach.
Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement in the House of Commons this afternoon, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
“Brexit has crowded the usually significant Spring Statement out on to the margins of relevance, and the Chancellor has managed to make it even more of a non-event.
“Despite continuing austerity for most government departments and a violence epidemic on our streets, the Chancellor announced no meaningful new funding and failed to even confirm a date for the crucial upcoming Spending Review.
“There is little good news in Brexit Britain’s growth record either. While the Coalition Government left the UK one of the best performers among the world’s advanced economies, the OBR’s growth downgrade for this year confirms we are now one of the weakest.
“With interest rates already at rock-bottom, these will not be available to fight any future Brexit recession. The Chancellor is right to warn about the economic damage a no-deal Brexit would cause, but wrong to present his government’s deal as the only alternative.
“In truth the only real “dividend” on offer is that from remaining in the EU, by giving the public a People’s Vote on Brexit.”
Davey: Britain must be far more ambitious on offshore wind
Commenting on the Government’s announcement of a new Offshore Wind Sector deal, Ed Davey, former Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said:
Britain must be far more ambitious on offshore wind, and build on the huge breakthroughs Liberal Democrats achieved on renewable power.
The UK is now the world leader in offshore wind, and the green power auctions Liberal Democrats pioneered have seen the cost of offshore wind tumble.
With renewable power costs now way below nuclear, it must be right to capitalise on this fabulous British success story – so we can tackle climate change faster and see more green jobs created.
PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron today used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge the Prime Minister to properly compensate communities that have been abandoned by the banks and forced to use online banking instead.
According to the consumer group Which? around 3,000 bank branches have closed over the past three years.
Meanwhile over the same time period, innocent customers have lost an extra £2billion in online and financial fraud.
Speaking during Prime Ministers Questions, Tim Farron asked:
Will she agree that the banks have taken without giving for too long?
Will she meet with me to force the banks to compensate victims of fraud, to compensate the communities they have abandoned and to prevent banks closing the last branch in town?
In response, the Prime Minister refused to help abandoned communities and victims of financial fraud, instead saying that banks are “commercial organisations and those are decisions that they take.”
Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:
It’s absolutely staggering and hugely disappointing that the Prime Minister has decided to turn her back on communities like Grange in my constituency that have been abandoned by the banks.
People who have been victims of financial fraud and those who have been let down by the banks deserve better than the Prime Minister shrugging her shoulders.
Tory cuts driving down quality of care homes
Responding to the report from Independent Age stating that the quality of care homes has worsened in the last year in more than a third of local authorities (37%), Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
We are now seeing the serious consequences the Tories’ cuts are having on the care older people receive. It is unacceptable that older people and families are having to choose between one poorly-performing care home and another poorly-performing care home.
The Tories’ sustained cuts to local government funding is contributing to the fall in standards of care, as is their failure to publish the Social Care Green Paper.
The Liberal Democrats are ready and willing to challenge the problems in social care. We will transform the care older people receive and reduce the inequality in provision. We will put a penny in the pound on income tax to directly invest in social care to reverse the deterioration in care.
Lib Dems: Tories failing to fund adult social care
Responding to the reports from the LGA that council tax rises in 2019/20 will not bring in enough money to prevent the need for further cutbacks to adult social care, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
The current way the Tories are running the care system is unsustainable. As it becomes more and more difficult for people in the UK to get the help they need, it becomes clear something needs to change, and it needs to happen now.
For months the Liberal Democrats have been calling on the Conservative Government to publish the Social Care Green Paper so that we can begin to address this crisis. But instead the Tories have delayed and delayed this since the summer of 2017 as they fail to address the ballooning funding gap for adult social care.
The Liberal Democrats are ready and willing to challenge the problem in social care. We will transform the care older people receive and reduce the inequality in provision. We will put a penny in the pound on income tax to directly invest in social care as a first step to address the funding problems.
Tory Govt must take responsibility for knife crime epidemic
Today Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Conservative Government to take responsibility for the knife crime epidemic and invest in more police and youth services.
Ed Davey said:
Far too many innocent young lives are being taken by the epidemic of violence that is consuming our cities. Instead of just lamenting these tragedies and talking tough, Ministers need to accept their share of responsibility for this crisis.
When children are excluded from school and see their youth centres closed, it’s hardly surprising that so many of them fall into the grip of gangs. When they see fewer and fewer police officers on the streets, it’s hardly surprising that young people start carrying knives for protection.
There can be no doubt that unnecessary Tory cuts have made our communities less safe.
The Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand more community police officers, urgent investment in youth services and a dramatic reduction in the use of school exclusions – all part of a proper public health approach to tackle the shocking rise in knife crime.
Lib Dems to introduce legislation to scrap the gender price gap
Today (5th March) Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has introduced a Bill to to end the so called ‘Pink Tax’.
Christine Jardine is launching her campaign to remove the gender price gap with a Bill to be presented to Parliament to mark International Women’s Day.
Commenting on her Private Member’s Bill, Ms Jardine said:
It is entirely unacceptable that in 2019 women and girls are still paying more than men for basic products, such as razors and deodorant. Whilst women are often still being paid less too, women really are being hit by a double whammy.
Products marketed at women are on average considerably more expensive than those marketed at men. Often the only difference is the colour, yet this unfair price gap will have a significant financial impact on a woman over the course of her life.
Liberal Democrats demand better. It’s time to get rid of this price gap. My Bill would remove this outdated and sexist tax on women once and for
Cable: Incomprehensible Grayling still in his role
Responding to the news that the Conservative Government have been forced to pay Eurotunnel £33 million, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
This news compounds the Conservative Government’s embarrassment over their botched ferry contract.
Now Ministers have poured another £30 million down the drain because they didn’t take even the most elementary precautions at the beginning of the process.
In any normal world Chris Grayling would have been fired long ago. It is incomprehensible that he is still in his role.
Lib Dems: Govt reforms failing to reduce reoffending
Today the National Audit Office have released a report stating that reforms to probation services have failed to meet the Ministry of Justice’s targets to reduce reoffending.
Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:
The rehabilitation of offenders and their re-integration into the community is central to who we are as a society and vital for cutting crime. It must be done with a sense of responsibility.
Good public services cannot be expected to be run on a shoe string. The Tory party’s obsession with saving money has actually cost millions and increased crime.
Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must properly fund rehabilitative services, create clear lines of accountability and take its responsibility to all citizens seriously.
Moran: Govt must support campaign to scrap Vagrancy Act
Following a PMQ this afternoon, in which Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran asked the Prime Minister to back her campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act from 1824, a meeting with the relevant Minister has been secured to press the issue.
Responding to the commitment from the Prime Minister, Layla Moran said:
I’m glad that the Prime Minister has recognised the seriousness of the plight of those living on our streets.
When I meet with the Minister, I will be asking for the Government to support my campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act, an indefensible and outdated law.
Criminalising homeless people is a national disgrace and shames our society, which should aspire to have more compassion for its most vulnerable.