Friday, April 24, 2015
Yesterday the IFS confirmed that the Liberal Democrats are the most transparent party in our manifesto. Tories give a “misleading impression” of cuts. Labour give “disappointingly little” information on borrowing and do not provide enough funding for the NHS.
The IFS found:
● Lib Dems most transparent of all the parties
● Lib Dems only party that will end austerity in 2017/18
● Lib Dems will deliver £8bn for NHS and invest in public services
· Conservatives will embark on £30bn of cuts to public services that are “not mentioned” in their manifesto
· Conservatives manifesto gives “a misleading impression” of the scale of the cuts to public services
· Conservatives “have not provided anything like complete details” of how they would eliminate the deficit
· Labour will only increase spending on the NHS by £4.2bn - which the IFS describe as “a very tight settlement”
· Labour “not spelling out” how much they would cut unprotected departments by
· Labour have provided “disappointingly little” information on what they would borrow
· SNP debt scenario similar to Labour’s
· IFS said today that austerity would continue for longer under the SNP
· SNP will spend more on debt interest and less on public services than the Liberal Democrats
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Disability manifesto / King’s Fund
Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone
A £150m package for Britain’s 6.5 million carers is being announced by the Liberal Democrats today as part of our Disability Manifesto.
The package will help carers across Britain who support their loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
Around one in every eight adults provide unpaid care for family and friends. Under the Liberal Democrats these carers will receive a £250 grant to ease the cost of looking after family members who require support for 35 hours or more each week over a 12 month period.
In addition, the NHS will have a legal duty to identify carers and introduce an innovative new ‘Carer’s Passport’ that provides people who look after ill and vulnerable loved ones with privileged support.
This could range from more flexible visiting hours and free hospital parking, through to free cinema tickets, free restaurant meals, and free gym sessions.
Carers could get an additional five days paid additional ‘care leave’ a year, and would be allowed to do more work without losing their Carer’s Allowance by extending the ‘earnings limit’ from £110 per week to £150 per week, putting more money back into their pockets.
In government, the Liberal Democrats would also appoint a new cross-government ‘Carer’s Champion’ to ensure carers get a voice at the heart of government.
The Disability Manifesto also includes measures to simplify the disability benefits system and protect benefits for the disabled from cuts to welfare, encourage employers to take on more people with disabilities who want to work, give people with disabilities better access to transport, and tackle disability hate crimes.
King’s Fund report
The latest King’s Fund quarterly monitoring report suggests the NHS is facing its “biggest challenge for years” with mounting deficits, worsening performance and declining staff morale.
That's why Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to invest the £8 bn per year that NHS bosses say it needs by 2020. We are the ONLY party to come up with a plan.
We will invest £1bn from higher taxes on the wealthy to enable the NHS to provide care closer to home, so fewer people have to go into hospital.
The NHS needs more than investment. So we are calling on all parties to join us in a non-partisan review of health and care after the election to ensure our NHS is safeguarded for the future.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
The polls are consistently predicting that neither Labour or Conservatives will have a majority in the next Parliament and while they could all be wrong, don't bet on it. Betfair says that 87% of thepunters are putting heir money on a hung Parliament.
That seems to indicate another coalition, but the British people wouldn't take kindly to a deal between Labour and the SNP, the only combination which might produce a Commons majority. The alternative would be a minority Government.
The moderating influence of a strong LibDem contingent will be essential to stability in any imaginable scenario..
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The Liberal Democrat manifesto, published today, says
"We will... outlaw caste discrimination"
We had fought hard with others to insert a provision in the Equality Act to treat caste as an aspect of race, but the best we could achieve was to give the Government an obligation to make such an Order, without specifying a date for it, see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/24/section/97. The Tories, under pressure from high caste Hindus, created a process involving two consultations, a feasibility study and other delaying mechanisms lasting two years, so that the law had not come into effect by the General Election.
People who want to end caste discrimination in the UK have an opportunity now to ask the candidates for their constituency standing in the election if they will support the implementation of this law without further delay in the next Parliament.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Just got home at 15.30 from St Thomas's where I had a cataract operation on my left eye, having had the right eye done a few weeks ago. It took about 30 minutes, a bit longer than the previous one because the surgeon was instructing someone. The eye feels a bit sore as is natural, and so far the sight from it is blurred, though I dare say that will improve over the nest few days. No other engagements for the rest of today.
This morning when I woke up the eye was inflamed and painful. We rang the hospital and went there for it to be examined. Saw the duty eye doctor after a couple of hours' wait, by which time the paracetamol I had taken earlier had kicked in and I was feeling much better. The doctor said the inflammation wasn't abnormal - though I didn't experience it when the cataract in the right eye was operated on a few weeks ago. Vision of the left eye is still slightly blurred, but that's caused b the macular degeneration, not the operation. Probably I will be able to see reasonably well for the remaining 14 months or so of my life.