Human Rights Act on the line in this election

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to defend the Human Rights Act, after the Conservative manifesto pledged to “update” the legislation.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Christine Jardine said:

We’ve known for years that the Conservatives want to undermine the Human Rights Act that safeguards our individual freedoms, and their manifesto confirms it.

When the Tories say they will ‘update’ the Act, there’s no doubt that they mean weaken it.
 

Lib Dems will freeze rail fare increases in NORTH THANET saving commuters hundreds/thousands of pounds.

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will freeze rail fare increases for NORTH THANET commuters and season ticket holders for the next five years, while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.

A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for December 2018 and freeze NORTH THANET commuter fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.

These proposals would save season ticket holders from NORTH THANET to CITY, £X over the next five years (Total Saving here – use fare freeze generator and take figure from F9 in the spreadsheet).This policy is expected to cost approximately £1.6 billion.

The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises apply delay repay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.

Liberal Democat candidate for NOTH THANET, ANGIE CURWEN said:

“Under the Tories, CONSTITUENCY commuters have been catastrophically let down. People are paying way over the odds for what has often been an appalling service.

“The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by freezing fares from CONSTITUENCY to MAJOR CITY for the next five years, saving local commuters hundreds/thousands pounds. We will properly invest in fixing our creaking rail network to improve capacity and reduce overcrowding, so CONSTITUENCY commuters are no longer treated like cattle.

“But this is about more than just providing more funding. We will also strip rail companies of franchises if they don’t meet the standards expected of them, and develop new transport mutual companies to foster alternative competition.”

Lib Dems respond to Tory candidate who said “nuisance tenants” should be forced to live in tents

In response to a Conservative candidate in a marginal seat stating that “nuisance tenants” should be forced to pick vegetables and live in a tent in a field, Lib Dem Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

“Everyone in this country deserves a decent standard of living. Conservative candidate Lee Anderson’s comment exposes a concerning disregard for this basic human right, and a lack of empathy towards those whom he aspires to represent.

“As a Conservative parliamentary candidate in a marginal seat, Anderson should not be stoking and entrenching division, or targeting vulnerable people.

“Unfortunately, this sort of comment is all too common from Conservative Party candidates, who are out of touch with the constituencies and the people they are attempting to represent.”

Liberal Democrats to scrap business rates

Swinson: Liberal Democrats will scrap business rates

Speaking to the CBI today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson announced that the Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates entirely to breathe new life into our high streets.

The Liberal Democrats would abolish business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support our high streets.

The change would cut taxes in 92% of local authorities and help rebalance the UK economy.

The Commercial Landowner Levy would give a big boost to the manufacturing sector and make it cheaper for all businesses to invest in renewables or other new technology for their premises.

In her speech, she also set out plans to spend £130bn on infrastructure, including housebuilding, and £5bn for a new Green Investment Bank to invest in zero-carbon projects.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

“Liberal Democrats are committed to helping small businesses, who are the engine of our economy. That is why Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy. “It will shift the burden from the tenant to the landlord, so that we can breathe new life into our high streets.”

“Frankly, we have seen enough promises of reviews of business rates from the Conservatives. It is time for clear action that will give proper help to our small businesses.”

We’ll invest £130bn in infrastructure over five years. We’ll use that to improve our railways and open up new lines. To reduce how much energy our buildings use.

“And we’ll use it to leverage private investment in renewables, to help us meet our target of generating 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030.

“And as part of our radical and credible plan to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible, we will make the UK a global leader in green jobs and technology.

“A Liberal Democrat government will work with you to open up new opportunities for green growth and to save our planet. We will invest £5bn in zero-carbon projects through the Green Investment bank.

“We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change, and we are running out of time. And while there is much that government can do, I am clear that the business community is absolutely part of the solution.”

“Not least because we need to channel your ingenuity and entrepreneurialism to take on this huge challenge, and others we face.

“And my vision is for a country where business joins forces with government, public services and civil society to create the kind of society we deserve.”

Conservatives no longer the party of business

Responding to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom’s interview on the Today programme this morning, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

“Andrea Leadsom has today confirmed that the Tories are not the party of business. We have already seen how the threat of Brexit is damaging our economy, yet the Tories still have no answers to businesses’ key questions, from future immigration policy to business rates.

“A Tory Brexit, backed by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, would create a toxic environment for businesses yet they have no credible plan to mitigate this disaster. The real victims of their complacency will be small business owners, employees, and consumers who will face years more uncertainty.

“The Liberal Democrats will boost our businesses by stopping Brexit, rebuilding our infrastructure and using the Remain bonus from the higher growth of staying in the EU to invest in a brighter future for young people and adults across the United Kingdom.”

Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system

Some details ….

The Liberal Democrats will today (Sunday 17 November) announce bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. This forms part of the party’s ambitious plans to build a brighter future.

Tory austerity has left a fifth of UK citizens in poverty, unable to afford even the most basic essentials. 

The Liberal Democrats will tackle this crisis by committing £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. Liberal Democrat proposals will prioritise tackling child poverty by abolishing the cruel two-child limit for Universal Credit and ending the unfair benefits cap. 

A Liberal Democrat government will make work pay and tackle in-work poverty, by using part of the Remain bonus – the £50 billion of extra funding that would be generated by stopping Brexit – to restore Work Allowances and introduce a second-earner Work Allowance. A Liberal Democrat government will also invest in boosting the Local Housing Allowance by linking it to average rents in each area.

Liberal Democrat plans to strengthen the UK’s welfare system will protect the most vulnerable and help to build a brighter future. 

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Tim Farron said:

“For too many people in the UK today, working hard and playing by the rules is no longer enough to secure a decent life. Millions of people’s lives have worsened under the Conservatives. Since 2015 they have bungled the roll-out of Universal Credit, made brutal cuts to benefits and introduced their senseless two-child limit that is fuelling child poverty.

“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and invest billions of pounds from the Remain bonus in building a brighter future for those struggling in our society. We will fix our broken welfare system to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.”

Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will plant a tree in Hampstead today (Saturday 16 November), as the party announces ambitious proposals to undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history. A Liberal Democrat government will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045.

Just 13% of the UK is currently covered by woodland, far below the European Union average of 35%. The Conservatives have woefully failed to meet their own targets for planting trees in the past year. Only 1,420 hectares of trees were planted in England in the year to March 2019, 71% short of the Conservative government’s target of 5,000 hectares for the same period.

Planting trees is one of the most viable ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere and is vital for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative will be a key part of the Liberal Democrat party’s plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to halve emissions by 2030 compared to today.

Reforesting will have other benefits such as helping reverse our declining biodiversity, reducing air pollution and improving public spaces. It will also increase use of timber products in construction, which capture carbon and reduce construction emissions. 

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Leader said:

“The climate emergency is destroying our natural environment and threatening our children’s futures. We will tackle the climate emergency by taking bold action to rapidly reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible, and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. 

“Our plan includes the largest tree-planting programme in UK history, which will green our towns and countryside to absorb damaging emissions. This will help us reach net-zero emissions, and will nurture biodiversity, combat air pollution and improve public spaces.

“It’s clear that the Conservative Party doesn’t take climate change seriously. Only the Liberal Democrats have a radical plan to make a real impact in the fight against climate change and build a brighter future for our planet.”

Angie Curwen’s Top 3 Priorities for North Thanet

Homes for All

Angie is fighting for everyone to have a safe, affordable home as a basic human right.  She is actively working with local communities to deliver community-led housing.  She is working to develop locally affordable housing for local people.

If elected Angie will challenge the national formula that dictates 17,400 homes must be built on Thanet by 2030.  Angie firmly believes this should be between 9,000 – 12,000 homes. 

Angie will also challenge the current planning system whereby local councils and residents have very little power over what type of homes are built, where they are built and what infrastructure needs to be put in place to support existing and new homes.

Protect our NHS

Angie will support Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK) in their fight to keep stroke services, A&E and Maternity services at both QEQM and KCH.  She agrees with their statements that to remove these services will cost lives and is not supported evidentially to improve outcomes, especially in North Thanet where we have a growing elderly population and areas of deprivation which naturally makes it harder for people to access services.

Tackle Climate Change

Angie will FIGHT for GREEN energy, GREEN transport and GREEN investments.  Climate change and air pollution threaten our lives now! 

We have known that air pollution blackspots exist in North Thanet for far too long and nothing has been done.  This is adversely affecting people’s health now.

If elected Angie will fight for affordable green transport to be introduced locally and on a national basis for diesel engines to be phased out.  We have the green technology, it is now up to government to legislate for it to be put into use. Angie supports the Campaign for Better Transport in their aim to launch a programme to replace the entire bus fleet with zero emission vehicles by 2035 and all new buses being zero emission from 2025 ..

Nationally The Liberal Democrats proposal is to expand renewable energy generation to 80% in just ten years and to insulate 30 million homes within 10 years from a standing start and to achieve carbon neutrality for the UK by 2045. The 2045 date is in line with many environmental groups, such as WWF and Friends of the Earth, it’s also in line with existing technologies available to us.

No Deal is a No Go

by Angie Curwen PPC for North Thanet – 4th September 2019

I read an article by Sir Ivan Rogers in the Spectator today and it hits the nail on the head of Brexit so well that I have been moved to share it with as many of my friends, relations and colleagues as possible and so I have decided to post some key points it makes here as well.

Ivan Rogers was Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union from 4 November 2013 until his resignation on 3 January 2017 following a leaked memo in which he expressed the view that a settlement between the UK and the European Union might not be reached for 10 years, if at all.

Debate

Sir Ivan states “As so often in the last three years, much of our political debate is ducking the central strategic questions and is obsessing about tactical ones.”

He goes on to say that while it is right and proper to be preparing for the immediate aftermath of leaving with no deal, “Remarkably little of the debate is about our real long term options. We should be thinking 10 to 20 years ahead, not 10 weeks.”

Business Clarity

On the subject of Business he says “The idea, peddled by ministers, that businesses would have the ‘clarity’ and ‘certainty’ they need about the UK’s ultimate destination after a ‘no deal’ exit in eight weeks time, is laughable. They would not even know whether there would be ANY sort of preferential trading with our largest trading partner, let alone what sort and when.”

Blame Game

Discussing the apportionment of blame he writes “The blame game on both sides, as both recognise – belatedly – that the potential landing zone for an agreement has all but disappeared, is therefore already well under way. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around.” He goes on to say “It (leaving with no deal) would also mark both a UK government failure and an EU failure. It takes two for a negotiation to fail”

JUST KEEP SAYING IT DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE!

Sir Ivan states that our political elite, by which I take it he means the PM and his cabinet, are in denial: “No amount of repetition of ‘this will all be terribly easy’ ever makes it true.  It is not unpatriotic or ‘declinist’ to point out that a process of ‘differential disentanglement’ – which is actually what Brexit is –  will be hard, complex and lengthy. How, seriously, after more than three years can so much of our political elite still be in denial on this?”

CLUB

A well argued point by many but I still think Sir Ivan puts it rather well: “If you leave a club whose other members are prepared to integrate more deeply politically and juridically than you, because they see economic and political benefits from doing so, you cannot tell the public that any adverse consequences of leaving are all the club’s fault, for wilfully not carrying on giving you club benefits when you leave.”

BORDERS

It is incredibly frustrating that so many including refuse to admit the definition of a border. Sir Ivan makes a succinct statement about borders: “Nor can you just wish away issues at borders, whether on land or cross-Channel, when the entire purpose of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union must be to run deliberately different regulatory regimes – chosen by your own Parliament – where you believe it suits you. Such choices by definition entail a hard border. Borders across the whole world demarcate different regulatory regimes.”

Trade

We are in unchartered territory deciding to leave a trading bloc says Sir Ivan: “No developed country has taken itself out of a trade bloc since the war because the costs of deliberately making trade substantially more difficult with your closest neighbours are obviously large. No trade deal has ever been struck between partners actively seeking to get further apart. Trade deals have always been between those aspiring to converge and to increase trade flows, not diverge and decrease them.”

“We face the most explosive political week for years, perhaps decades” writes Sir Ivan.” As I write this, 20 eminent MPs from the Conservative Party have stood up for honesty and integrity and have as a result been thrown out of their party. MPs across all political spectrums are standing up against lies being told frequently by our Prime Minister and his cabinet. It is my belief that we must all follow their lead and call out lies and manipulative behaviour wherever we see it.