Lib Dems attack the Tory government over the budget, junior doctors and the forced academisation of schools

5 Apr 2016

The Liberal Democrats are providing robust opposition to this government:

Budget:

Commenting on Iain Duncan Smith's resignation, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has called on George Osborne to follow his example. Tim Farron said:

  • "It is quite right that Iain Duncan Smith has resigned over this heartless plan to cut disability benefits, but the true mastermind of the changes George Osborne, should also be considering his position.
  • "It is clear that these cuts had nothing to do with the right level of support for people with disabilities, and everything to do with George Osborne's self imposed spending target. Now his plan has come unstuck he should follow Iain Duncan Smith, for once, and do the decent thing."
  • Liberal Democrat Economics Spokesperson Susan Kramer said: '...he has cut vital spending to fit his own arbitrary and unnecessary spending surplus'

http://www.libdems.org.uk/george_osborne_should_follow_iain_duncan_smith_s_example_tim_farron

Here is Tim Farron's full response to the recent budget on behalf of the Lib Dems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWRv8hQ2JJA

As the government cuts tax for the richest (e.g. capital gains tax cuts), to be paid for by spending cuts that impact on our communities, and in particular on the most vulnerable and those working on lower incomes, the Lib Dems are working to provide the strong opposition this country needs.

NHS/junior doctors:

In his recent speech to the Spring Lib Dem conference, Tim Farron said:

  • ''And at a time when they should be focussing on improving public services, this Government is locked in a dispute with junior doctors
  • Instead of taking action to safeguard the future of the NHS - the Conservative government is running it into the ground.
  • Instead of working to strengthen and protect the NHS, Jeremy Hunt is jeopardising it. Junior Doctors are working tirelessly for the good of the British people and they have people's lives in their hands. We should be working with them to save the NHS. They are the future of healthcare.
  • Jeremy Hunt, enough is enough. You have mishandled this dispute with junior doctors. You have proved that the NHS is at risk in Tory hands''.

http://www.libdems.org.uk/tim_farron_s_speech_to_liberal_democrat_spring_conference

Schools:

From Tim Farron's open letter to the NUT, on Friday 25 March 2016:

  • I have never understood why the Government think that converting a school to an academy will automatically drive up standards. They're wrong. What drives up standards is a well-funded education system and a teaching workforce who receive proper support and recognition for their work.
  • My fear is that this policy is worse than misguided - it is downright harmful. It will be a costly and disruptive process for thousands of schools across the county, most of whom are already facing significant pressures including squeezed budgets and falling teacher morale.
  • So I want to assure you have the support of me and my Party in the fight against the Government's plans.

In his full budget response (link above), Tim also notes that forced academisation is centralisation at the expense of local demcracy.