The Government must pause Universal Credit rather than just tinker with it

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 23rd Nov 17 - 03:14

Responding to the Budget announcement on Universal Credit yesterday, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Stephen Lloyd said: "The government's U-turns are welcome but beg the question: why have they taken this long? "The overall system is still not fit for purpose. It must be paused before even more of our most vulnerable citizens are made to suffer on the ideological anvil of this Conservative government. "Why is it that this government insists on rolling out Universal Credit, instead of just stopping and fixing it?" "The Chancellor ignored the £3 billion cut that was taken out of UC by George ... (more)

Cable: budget sunk by growth bombshell

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 23rd Nov 17 - 03:12

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has seized on the Chancellor's admission that the UK economy will be smaller by a huge £45 billion than was estimated as recently as March. Vince Cable said: "The economy will be £45 billion smaller in 2021 than predicted as recently as March. And that is the least worst case scenario. "Philip Hammond might as well have sat down and stopped talking once he announced this slump in growth figures. "Britain has gone from top of the growth league to deep into the relegation zone, with each person set to be £687 worse off per ... (more)

Hammond to look into plastic waste charge in victory for Lib Dems

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 23rd Nov 17 - 03:10

Philip Hammond has announced he will consider charges on single-use plastic items to reduce waste. It comes following a Liberal Democrat campaign to introduce a charge on disposable coffee cups, to reduce the billions of cups thrown away in the UK each year. Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, said: "This is a major victory for the Liberal Democrats, who have long been demanding action to tackle plastic waste."We now need to make sure this consultation leads to real action and isn't just kicking the cup down the road."Our environment and wildlife cannot wait any longer for tough measures ... (more)

The old schoolhouse at Acton Scott

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 23:23

This school was built in the late 19th century to educate the children of Acton Scott in Shropshire. It now serves as the cafe for the historic working farm tourist attraction there. I photographed it a few summers ago. (more)

Budget: no extra money for police in Wales

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 23:07

Today's budget statement by the Chancellor included no additional funding for the police in England and Wales. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said: "Crime is rising and police numbers are falling but you wouldn't think the Government cared looking at today's budget. The police barely got a mention in the Chancellor's speech despite forces up and down the country being desperate for a cash-injection. It is clear where the money is going - £3.7bn to help the Conservatives drive through a hard Brexit. Just a fraction of this money would have been transformative for the police but ... (more)

Dear blockchain, here are your ancestors...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 22:47

Vinay Gupta is a fascinating man, graduating from developing simple yurts to support refugees anywhere to working out the deeper implications of bitcoin, blockchain technologies and climate change. I was keen to meet him, and I did. In fact, I met him at an amazing annual event hosted in Brighton called the Meaning conference, packed full of thirty- and forty-something entrepreneurs who are optimistic that enterprise and imagination - social and profitable - can develop solutions to the world's problems. We live in undeniably pessimistic times, so it does everyone good to be around optimists. And Gupta's presentation was optimistic. ... (more)

Staufen: the German town that's literally breaking apart

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 22:44

The town of Staufen, in the south-west of Germany, has a problem: a drilling operation in 2007 that went very wrong. (more)

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Some silly ass with a hyphen

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 22:23

The old boy lets Chris Heaton-Harris have both barrels. Wednesday To the University of Rutland at Belvoir in my capacity as vice-chancellor. This role, I will admit, is something of a sinecure as I generally leave the budgeting to the institution's famed Department of Hard Sums and concentrate on handing out scrolls to young people in mortarboards. This morning, however, I find the place in turmoil. Some silly ass with a hyphen who makes the tea in the Conservative Whips Office has written asking about our course in European Studies. That subject is naturally of interest here in Rutland as ... (more)

Do the Liberal Democrats face "death by fudge"?

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 22:05

Despite what Lord Bonkers would have you believe, his diaries are not the only feature of Liberator. The November 2017 issue, which has just arrived with subscribers. In it, Paul Hindley argues that the Liberal Democrats face "death by fudge" if they do not soon offer some more radical and imaginative policies. You can read Paul's article, and one by Tony Greaves, on Liberator's website. And a debate about them is developing on Lib Dem Voice. Meanwhile, Liberator's Radical Bulletin feature gives you the inside track on Your Liberal Britain, the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats and the prospect of further ... (more)

In full: Jo Swinson's response to the Budget - with a cheeky intervention from Tom Brake

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 22nd Nov 17 - 21:30

It was Jo Swinson who led the Lib Dem speeches in the Commons today in response to Philip Hammond's insipid budget. Here is her speech in full. Note the cheeky intervention from Tom Brake, reminding of us of some words on the side of a bus. The British economy today faces three key challenges. First, we have low productivity, with the associated wage stagnation that comes with it, and of course the reduced tax receipts. Secondly, we have high public sector debt. We must recognise the constraints that that places on what is possible economically, and be honest about some ... (more)