Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 by craigwhittall
The Coalition Government has today announced how much Pupil Premium money each school in England will receive in 2013/14.
The cash targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition Government.
The Pupil Premium will be worth a total of £1.65bn, or £900 per child, in 2013/14. It covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws said:
“Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and a fair society where everyone can get ahead. Education is absolutely at the heart of that.
“The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition, extra IT support – whatever the school thinks best.
“Helping the most disadvantaged children helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.”
You can find details of how much each local school in England will gain from the Lib Dem Pupil Premium, by visiting this website: http://bit.ly/TyVK6D
Image Copyright: Flickr/Educationgovuk
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 by aldcadmin
Commenting on the rise in the Income Tax personal allowance announced in the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Stephen Williams said:
“Liberal Democrats are working for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life. That’s why we are cutting taxes for working people.
“Today’s announcement means that by April, Liberal Democrats will have cut your income tax bill by £600 a year.
“Liberal Democrats want fairer taxes, which is why we made raising the tax-free allowance our number one priority at the General Election – so important that we put it on the front page of our manifesto.
“When times are tough, with rising bills and wages not keeping pace with inflation, we want to give people real, practical help.
“Cutting Income Tax will not deal with all of those problems, but it will help. And I hope it will make a big difference to every family in this country.”
You can help Liberal Democrats keep cutting your taxes by supporting our Fairer Tax campaign at http://www.fairertax.org/
Sunday, November 4th, 2012 by aldcadmin
Launched at the Lib Dems Autumn Conference in Brighton, the Fairer Tax campaign seeks to make sure that the super rich pay their fair share and to cut the tax bill of ordinary people.
If successful this would mean that since entering the Coalition, Liberal Democrats will have cut the Income Tax bill of most people by £700.
Commenting on the campaign, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “In government, the Liberal Democrats have already delivered a 10% increase in Capital Gains Tax from 18% to 28%, a new tax on sales houses worth over £2 million and a £10 billion new bank tax.”
“But we believe we can make taxes even fairer.”
“That’s why we’re calling for tax loopholes to be closed and a new wealth tax on the super rich to be introduced. This should then allow us to cut the Income Tax bill of hardworking people.”
If you are interested in joining the Fairer Tax campaign, or learning more about how Liberal Democrats are working to deliver fairer taxes in tough times, please visit our campaign website: http://www.fairertax.org/
Sunday, October 7th, 2012 by aldcadmin
The Liberal Democrats in government have kept their commitment to fair pricing for rail passengers. As a result, next year’s planned rail fare rise (initially RPI inflation, plus three per cent) has been capped at inflation plus one per cent. This will save over 250,000 season ticket holders up to £200 over the next two years.
The money to fund the cap in fare rises will come from savings in the Department of Transport’s budget, and the government are committed to ending the era of above-inflation fare rises when the costs of maintaining and investing in the rail network allow.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Lib Dem Norman Baker, said “The Lib Dems have been making the case for a fair deal for passengers for years, and bringing down fares is the main thing I’ve been fighting for. But until the public finances are in a state that lets us do that, my priority is to keep the increase as low as possible.”
He added that the Liberal Democrats are “absolutely committed to ensuring the travelling public are not unfairly saddled with the cost of backfilling for years of underinvestment in the rail network.”
Monday, September 3rd, 2012 by aldcadmin
Ed Davey, Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, today spoke about the measures the government has taken to enhance the role of solar PV (photovoltaics) and biomass in creating an environmentally-sustainable energy mix in the UK.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has now proposed a range of new rates for solar projects covered by the Renewables Obligation – the commitment to producing a percentage of energy from renewable sources that energy companies are required by legislation to fulfil. Support levels for solar PV generation will be roughly equivalent to the rates that govern individual Feed-In Tariffs.
Commenting, Ed Davey said “Solar PV and biomass are important technologies as we move towards a more low-carbon energy mix.”
“Our proposals are designed to encourage the most economically sound solar PV projects under the Renewables Obligation and ensure value for money for the consumer.”
A full briefing on solar PV and biomass proposals can be found here
Green Deal – Update
Last month, the Treasury provided the Green Deal Finance Company with a £7 million loan that will enable Green Deal Providers to access finance for their work from early 2013. In addition, the Treasury has announced that the Green Deal will be an early candidate for the earliest wave of new infrastructure guarantees – safeguarding the finance necessary to begin the mass renovation of homes next year.
Registration has also opened for all providers who wish to become Green Deal providers to express their interest and all authorised providers will display a Green Deal Quality Mark to assure full protection for all consumers who take this opportunity.
To learn more about the Green Deal, click here
Image: (CC) Flickr/DECC
Thursday, July 12th, 2012 by aldcadmin
Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Care Services Paul Burstow has announced the most radical reform of social care in the UK in over 60 years.
These changes will mean that people will no longer have to face selling their own homes to pay for their care. They will fix a fragmented and confusing care system, end the incidence of ‘postcode lotteries’ in care, improve training across the board, and shift the system’s focus to prevention instead of endless crisis-management.
The government’s aim is to create a social care system that is modern and comprehensive, fair and sustainable.
Top Ten Changes in Social Care White Paper:
- No more ‘clock-watching’ homecare visits
- New rights for the UK’s five million carers to be enshrined in law
- ‘National eligibility threshold’ will finally remove current ‘postcode lotteries’
- £200 million investment in specially-adapted housing for older and disabled people
- New code of conduct and national minimum training standards to put dignity and respect at the core of care training
- Doubling available training and apprenticeships to create 100,000 new care workers by 2017
- £300 million to be invested in better integration of care & support between social care and the NHS
- More clear and practical information for families and making it easier to report bad care
- £3.8 million investment to stop army veterans having to use injury compensation to pay for care
- Encouraging people into work by excluding earned income from residential care charges
These ten changes are going to make a massive difference to the quality and sustainability of care in the United Kingdom.
Getting our care arrangements right is one of the most important decisions that the government will have to make this term, and those decisions have been made all the better through the contributions of Liberal Democrat ministers to the government’s proposals.
You can read more about the government’s proposals for care and support reforms at the Department of Health website here
CC: Image courtesy of Dept of Health on Flickr
Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by aldcadmin
The Liberal Democrats are proud to support the ‘Fix Parliament’ campaign for a majority-elected House of Lords.
After 100 years of promises, papers, reports and Commissions, it is time for the government to take action and deliver a truly democratic second-chamber. There is no excuse nor justification for half of our parliament being appointed at the whim of party leaders to lifetime terms of office – an arrangement that we share in common with Belize, Burkina Faso, and Jordan. There is no excuse for supporting a system that allows some lawmakers to inherit their office – an arrangement that we currently share only with Lesotho. There is no excuse for more than half of Great Britain’s lawmakers to sit in Parliament without an electoral mandate from the public. It is an affront to democracy and it has to end.
Speaking to the Electoral Reform Society, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed some startling facts about the larger half of the UK Parliament:
- More than 25% of Lords are ex-MP’s
- 70% owe their place to a party political appointment
- 50% of the House come from London and the South East alone
- Only 20% are women
- 40% trace their educational backgrounds to just 12 private schools
The current House of Lords clearly does not reflect the country it helps to govern.
As Liberal Democrats, we want to see all lawmakers hold their place in parliament only through the will of the British people as expressed in free and fair elections. Whilst only 80% of the Lords will be elected under this reform, this will still be the greatest step forward for our politics since the final extension of the franchise to all women in 1928. Those who would make the perfect the enemy of the good – opposing reform in the name of a 100% elected Lords – are just as conservative as the ermined defenders of unearned privilege sat in the second-chamber today.
We have campaigned for an elected House of Lords for over 100 years, and we will continue the fight for as long as it takes. Every man and woman in Britain is within touching distance of living in a truly democratic state for the first time in our lives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we should all seize with both hands.
More information about the Fix Parliament campaign can be found on their Facebook page.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 by aldcadmin
Last week, Lib Dem Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable announced sweeping changes to the way in which top-level executives have their pay and bonuses decided. This change, described by the government as the ‘most comprehensive reforms of the governance framework for directors’ remuneration in a decade’, will:
- Give company shareholders binding votes on both executive-pay policy and exit payments (the amount of money an executive receives if they resign or leave their contract early)
- Boost transparency – allowing the link between pay and performance to be clearly drawn
- Ensure that the reforms have a lasting impact by keeping the shareholders in the driving seat and maintaining their recent boardroom activism
“At a time when the global economy remains fragile, it is neither sustainable nor justifiable to see directors’ pay rising at 10 per cent a year, while the performance of listed companies lags behind and many employees are having their pay cut or frozen.
“In January we kicked off a national debate aimed at encouraging shareholders to become more actively engaged as company owners in better aligning directors’ pay with performance. I have been greatly encouraged by the ‘shareholder spring’ and I want to see that momentum sustained. That is why I am bringing forward legislation to strengthen the powers of shareholders through a binding vote on pay.”
As Liberal Democrats, we believe that the success should run through UK business from top to bottom. We want to see the values of fairness and responsibility in the setting of top-level pay, and we want to see proportionality – no more rewards for failure, no huge executive increases at the expense of low-paid workers below – at the heart of British business.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 by aldcadmin
At the launch of the new Draft Bill on energy, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State of Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, writes:
Over the next decade, around a fifth of existing power plants are due to close, against a background of increased energy demand and increasing prices. We need new investment simply to keep the lights on.
But more than that, we need a clean energy revolution to meet our ambitious climate change goals and make this the greenest government ever.
That’s why I am bringing forward a new Energy Bill today.
You can read more about our clean energy revolution here.
We also need to transform our energy market to reduce the risk and cost of low carbon technologies.
That’s what our Bill does.
The UK is fast becoming a world leader in renewable energy, especially in off shore wind. I want us to lead the world in Carbon Capture and Storage too.
And we are also tackling rising energy bills. Without reforming the energy market bills will rise by around £200 in the coming years. Our reforms will mean bills are around 4% lower than they otherwise would have been.
Going green is good for the economy, good for Britain and good for you.
Ed Davey MP
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
(Image licensed under Creative Commons from DECC)
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by aldcadmin
For me, nothing better illustrates the Liberal Democrat mission to make Britain a fairer place than our Pupil Premium: extra money for the most disadvantaged children in our schools.
We are letting schools decide the best way to spend this money. I want to strike a deal with our schools and teachers: we’ll give you the cash, the freedom, and we’ll reward and celebrate your success. But in return, we want you to redouble your efforts to close the gap between your poorer pupils and everyone else. We won’t be telling you what to do; but we will be watching what you achieve.
(Click picture to play video)
It is shameful that, despite all the promise on a four or five year old’s first day at school, or the passion of their teachers, you can all too often plot that child’s path just by asking how much their parents earn.
The £2.5billion Pupil Premium was one of the four pledges on the front page of our manifesto. And now, with Liberal Democrats in government, schools are using the money for things like breakfast clubs; homework clubs; or to provide one-to-one-tuition. These are the sort of experiences many middle class children take for granted but a poorer child might rarely enjoy.
Yesterday I visited a fantastic primary school to see how they are spending their Pupil Premium, highlight our new Summer Schools to ease the transition from primary to secondary, and to set out our plans to reward teachers and hold schools to account.
The Pupil Premium shows that, in tough times, we are implementing Liberal Democrat values and prioritising help for those pupils who need it most.
Nick Clegg MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister
PS Click here to find out how much money your local school will receive from the Liberal Democrats’ Pupil Premium.