Theresa May today announced her Government's intention to hold an early General Election this year. Her Government currently has a paper thin majority, and it is clear that May will seek a more comfortable majority to push her brutal Brexit agenda.
We cannot allow that to happen. We relish this opportunity to win more seats in Parliament and fight against a brutal Brexit government. This is an opportunity for us to outline clearly our liberal vision for the future of Britain, and an opportunity for us to show who the real opposition to the Tories are.
Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat Shadow Equalities Secretary, will use her speech in the Budget debate in the Lords today to highlight the plight of young girls who are dropping out of school as a result of 'period poverty'.
She will call on the Government to provide free sanitary products to school age girls who are already recipients of free school meals.Read more
Young Liberals UK supports the thoughtful position on the possibility of a second referendum on Scottish independence by the Scottish Young Liberals.
The OBR forecast of higher inflation and more borrowing is another sign of how the Tory pursuit of a Hard Brexit is weakening our economy. The government is expected to borrow £100 billion more over the next 5 years than was forecast before the EU referendum – meaning higher debt payments for today’s young people for decades to come.
In the face of this, we do welcome the Government’s commitment to increase spending on social care by £2 billion – a key Liberal Democrat demand for the Budget. However, £2 billion is not nearly enough to cover a chronically underfunded social care budget, and we call on the government to pledge a significantly higher increase. The Liberal Democrats have also called for an additional £500 million for mental health. We urgently need to increase funding for mental health care, addressing the scandalous waiting lists and lack of training among health professionals.
There was not much else to like in this Brexit Budget. While we support attempts to simplify our complex tax system, punishing self-employed workers with a National Insurance hike will weaken Britain’s economy at a time when Tory attempts to pull us out of the Single Market have already led to higher prices.
The rise in national insurance for self-employed workers contradicts the Tory 2015 Manifesto pledge not to raise direct taxes. With small businesses up and down the country already being hammered by steep increases in business rates, the Tory claim to be the party of aspiration is looking more and more empty by the day. Britain needs to encourage young entrepreneurs with lower taxes and a liberal immigration system, not a withdrawal from the Single Market that will make it harder to do business across Europe.
A hard Brexit is a threat to our jobs, our economy and our social services. Philip Hammond is pursuing an agenda that will further damage the opportunities of young people in Britain – the majority of whom did not back Brexit. Whilst young people suffer the consequences of a Hard Brexit, the Chancellor has protected the universal benefits of wealthy pensioners, refusing to ask them to pay a penny more. Meanwhile, the generational divide worsens as young people struggle to get onto the housing ladder or secure a stable job.
The Tories defend a tax system where income is redistributed from young to elderly, not from rich to poor. They defend a housing policy where green belt restrictions and tight planning laws push down the supply of housing, leading to higher rents for young people and preventing them from owning their own home.
This refusal to tackle the generational divide shows where the Conservative priorities really lie. This was a Budget for Theresa May’s Brexit hardliners, not for the young people and families already struggling to get by
Commenting on the Government announcement on reforms to sex and relationship education in the Children and Social Work Bill John Pugh MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“This is welcome news and something my party has long called for. Liberal Democrats had pushed for this to be included in the Bill and are glad to see the Government finally taking up our recommendation.
“Age appropriate sex and relationship education is key to enabling young people can talk about the many complex issues they will face as they grow up, and helping them to become confident and healthy adults.
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has seized on an IFS report showing that schools are facing their first real-term cuts in two decades.
Tim Farron said: “The spending on the education of our sixth formers is no higher than it was 30 years ago. This report shows that Theresa May is waging a war on young people, these cuts are a direct consequence of the decision she has made to go for a hard Brexit which will devastate our economy.
These cuts could be the death of education as we know it. Smaller budgets will mean staff redundancies, bigger class sizes and slashing things like the school clothing grants that help some of the poorest pupils.
The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens to continue to live and work in the UK following the triggering of Article 50.Read more
The Liberal Democrats have hit out at reports that the Conservatives are to push for a new generation of grammars to be "super-selective" that would only take the top 10% of children. This is even lower than for existing grammars, which typically take the top 25% of children.Read more
Theresa May's decision to pull Britain out of the Single Market will put up prices, damage our currency and increase unemployment. This will hurt young people in Britain more than any other age group, increasing the generational divide in our society.
For all the Tories claim to be the party of sound finances, today is another sign that they are willing to damage the future job opportunities of young people to appease their Brexit hardliners.
Liberals Democrats believe in free trade and an open immigration system that benefits our economy. Theresa May today made the choice to pursue the opposite agenda - a UKIP vision of Brexit that damages British interests. Young Liberals stand firmly against this agenda and we will continue campaigning to keep Britain in the Single Market
The Higher Education and Research Bill has been indefinitely delayed as Government backtracks on its claim of ‘business as usual’ following the EU referendum.
The results of the EU Referendum have plunged Westminster and the government into chaos as both the Conservative and Labour parties fight over who should lead their party, and the country as a whole. In the midst of this chaos Government has decided to further delay the Second Reading of the Higher Education and Research Bill.Read more