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  • Nh43
    Article: Apr 13, 2022

    Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have both been fined for breaking Covid laws.

    Laws they wrote, and you followed.
    While we made countless sacrifices to protect each other, they were partying in Downing Street. They They think they're above the law.
    Neither of them are fit to hold office. We want them gone. Today.

  • Spring statement 2022 ()
    Article: Mar 25, 2022

    A Better Liberal Democrat Alternative.

    Cutting VAT
    Liberal Democrats want to cut the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% - saving the average family £600 every year.
    Windfall Tax
    We'd force big oil and gas companies to pay their fair share, and use that money to:

    Double the Warm Home Discount and extend it to everyone on Pension Credit and Universal Credit
    Double the Winter Fuel Allowance
    Roll out an emergency home insulation programme
    Support small businesses in energy-intensive industries.

    Scrapping unfair tax hikes
    Under our plans, we'd ditch the hike on National Insurance and the stealth Income Tax rise implemented by the Tories freezing thresholds.
    Universal Credit
    Britain deserves a fairer deal. And the Liberal Democrats are fighting for that in Parliament, in the media and on the doorstep. And we called on the Chancellor to raise benefits in line with the true level of inflation - currently at 6.2% - rather than a paltry 3.1%.

    Rishi Sunak can put out as many expensively-produced spin videos as he wants. But we know he's turned his back on the British people.

    Britain deserves a fairer deal. And the Liberal Democrats are fighting for that in Parliament, in the media and on the doorstep in Suffolk.

  • Article: Mar 16, 2022

    Reforming the Criminal Records System

    Rehabilitation should be central to any system of justice say Lib Dems.

    By Wera Hobhouse, Mar 13, 2022

    Stopping criminals from reoffending is crucial for cutting crime and making our communities safer. The Conservative Government is failing badly on that score: rehabilitation is poor and reoffending rates are far too high.

    We know that stable employment is a key factor that reduces the risk of reoffending, helping people to build lives free from crime. But the current rules around criminal records can negatively affect people's job prospects, as well as their ability to travel, adopt, access domestic violence shelters, and many other parts of civil life.

    There are over 11 million people residing in the United Kingdom who have a criminal record. Currently, no criminal record information is deleted, including crimes committed by those under 18. Criminal record information remains on both the Disclosure and Barring Service system and the Police National Database.

    A significant number of high-profile companies offer employment to large numbers of prisoners, with very successful results. However, many employers are reluctant to hire ex-offenders. Some fear that doing so would damage the image of their business.

    The Lammy Review in 2017 concluded "the records disclosure regime hampers people with convictions from starting lives" and recommended "a system which involves looking favourably on those who committed crimes as children or young adults, and can demonstrate that they have changed since their conviction".

    The rules around criminal records need to be reformed, so that people do not need to declare old or minor convictions.

    In new policy passed by members today, Liberal Democrats are calling for:

    • an end to the blanket policy of retention of all criminal records.
    • police not to retain any personal information or criminal record if the offender is given an absolute discharge by the court - meaning that no further action is taken, because either the offence was very minor, or the court considers that the experience has been enough of a deterrent.
    • police to delete all criminal cautions, conditional discharges, and associated personal information after 6 years if the person does not reoffend in that time.
    • the government to develop guidance on how long criminal records should be retained for sentenced crimes and cases where the person reoffends.
    • criminal records to only be permanent in cases of serious crimes and matters of national security.
    • judges to set how long a crime should stay on the offender's record at the point of sentencing.
    • police to only hold records for any other dealings with the police if the police determine it is in the public interest.

    Read the full motion

    A more flexible system will lead to more effective policing, by focusing on those who commit serious crimes and pose the greatest risk.

    The police would still retain records of serious criminals and anyone who is identified as a threat to national security. They would also be able to keep the records of suspects where it is in the public interest.

    Liberal Democrats understand that the key to building communities that are free from crime is to make sure that ex-offenders go on to lead lives free from crime. That means putting rehabilitation at the heart of our criminal justice system. This motion was debated by members at the Party's Spring Conference last weekend builds on our existing policies to do just that.

    END

  • Article: Mar 16, 2022

    The damage done by Brexit to the British economy

    Hardly a week goes by without some new evidence of the damage done by Brexit to the British economy. From rising food prices, to empty supermarket shelves, to shortages of HGV drivers and of staff in the healthcare, farming and hospitality sectors, to musicians being unable to perform abroad, to British firms, farmers and fishers facing such higher charges and bureaucracy that they give up exporting their products altogether, to scientists losing chances of collaborative projects, Brexit is affecting more and more parts of everyday life. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the biggest shock to the British economy since the war, but, as the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted, the impact of Brexit will be twice as large - and, unlike the pandemic, it will not stop.

  • Article: Jan 17, 2022

    A series of free to attend, direct engagement events taking place across the East of England designed to hear what you, our members, have to say.

    Each event will be opened via live stream on a giant screen by an independent political commentator. Adam Boulton (until recently Editor at large for Sky News) will open the first roadshow on Thursday 17 February in Bury St Edmunds.