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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.



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  • Article: Apr 24, 2014

    
Today, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will launch the Liberal Democrats' 2014 European election campaign at a rally in Colchester.

    The Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain IN Europe and protect 3 million British jobs. With UKIP trying to pull us out of Europe, and David Cameron and Ed Miliband too scared to mention Europe, it is Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for British interests and British jobs.

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    Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Today, Vince Cable gave the Cambridge Public Policy Lecture, exploring how further and higher education can be brought closer together to create a "parity of esteem" between the sectors.

    Vince Cable called for a new generation of National Colleges to fill the high-level vocational skills gap.

    "I want to set out a vision for a new generation of National Colleges: specialised institutions, acting as national centres of expertise in key areas of the economy. They will be employer-focused, and combine academic knowledge with practical application."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP has saidWillie RennieWillie Rennie that it is puzzling that the SNP could not support plans to cut tax for people on low and middle incomes. This comes after the SNP voted against a Scottish Liberal Democrat amendment supporting moves by the Liberal Democrat in the UK Government.

    The increasing of the income tax threshold has already seen 224,000 of the lowest earners lifted out of tax altogether. More than 2 million Scots have been given a £700 tax cut.

    Speaking after the parliamentary debate on the living wag0065, Mr Rennie said:

    "Despite previous proclamations of support for cutting tax for people on low and middle incomes, this reveals how hollow those words were. This vote confirms that the SNP do not favour helping those who would benefit from a tax cut most.

    "It is puzzling why a party that claims to be on the side of workers is against our proposals which have already been delivered. We want to go further by raising the threshold to £12,500 so that people in the minimum wage would no longer pay any income tax. This is real action by government which delivers a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling more people to get on in life.

    "Scottish Liberal Democrats have lifted 224,000 of the lowest earners out of tax altogether. More than 2 million Scots have been given a £700 tax cut. It is puzzling that the SNP could not support this."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP hasLiam McArthurLiam McArthur said the SNP Government should set the record straight after making misleading claims that key schemes aimed at helping those living in fuel poverty were being cut by the UK Government.

    Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

    "Nobody should have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families. That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats remain committed to ending fuel poverty by 2016.

    "In my own constituency of Orkney, levels of fuel poverty are higher than almost anywhere else in the country. I need no persuading, therefore, of the importance of redoubling our efforts to combat this scourge as a matter of urgency.

    "Making progress, however, will require both of Scotland's governments to work hand in hand. What it does not need is SNP Ministers yet again blaming everything on Westminster while claiming everything would be solved with independence.

    "Margaret Burgess' claims about UK cuts for energy efficiency measures are simply not true. Indeed, it shows either a determination to scaremonger or a lack of understanding about how these programmes work. Neither does those living in fuel poverty any favours at all.

    "The fight against fuel poverty has enjoyed cross-party support to date, and those in fuel poor households deserve better than SNP scapegoating."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the news that the Alison McInnes MSPAlison McInnes MSPScottish Government has finally listened to the party's concerns over plans to scrap corroboration before a full review had taken place.

    The announcement today came after consistent pressure on the SNP Government from the Scottish Liberal Democrats to delay Stage Two deliberations until after Lord Bonomy published his findings on any potential safeguards.

    Commenting on today's concession, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:

    "Once Kenny MacAskill actually conceded that other safeguards would be required then the only sensible way forward was to await the outcome of Lord Bonomy's work. Kenny Macaskill's obstinacy on this has risked bringing parliament into disrepute, so I welcome his change of heart. This is a victory for common sense. People will breathe a sigh of relief today having watched the justice secretary step back from the brink. Parliament should never be asked to pass legislation before it has considered all the implications.

    "Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only party to have consistently opposed the Scottish Government's ill-thought-through plans to scrap corroboration. Kenny MacAskill's attempts to push this onto the statute book only compounded those concerns.

    "Lord Bonomy's group must now be allowed to conduct its review completely unfettered, after which we can return to this debate far better informed."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Today, Nick Clegg spoke at the launch of the Cityfathers, a new forum for working fathers, on the need for radical change to create equal opportunities in our parental leave system.

    Nick commented on the importance of change in modern society, where we now have the highest female employment rate on record. More parents choose to both earn and share childcare responsibility, but there is still an assumption that it is the father who works and the mother who cares for the children.

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume today warned that the clock is tickingJim HumeJim Hume for SNP Ministers to give farmers the information they need on the future of Scottish agricultural payments ahead of a key EU deadline.

    Speaking after the appearance of the Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP at the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Hume said the powers SNP Ministers have to create a Scottish Common Agricultural Policy come with real responsibilities.

    During the meeting, the Secretary of State underlined the consequences of missing key deadlines and falling foul of EU rules, pointing to the substantial fines imposed on England following previous reforms.

    Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:

    "UK Ministers helped ensure that Scottish Ministers have the power take the big decisions over how we support our agricultural sector. But power comes with responsibilities. Richard Lochhead needs to give our farmers the answers they need on the CAP to allow the industry to plan for the future.

    "Scotland is now falling behind the rest of the UK on CAP implementation. The deadline for announcing details of the new Scottish payments system is fast approaching and the clock is ticking.

    "If we miss the boat on EU deadlines this would cause fundamental problems for farmers who are already facing real uncertainty."

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    The Government has announced eight major renewable projects as part of electricity reforms, which will give a massive boost to green growth and green jobs.

    The projects are delivering low-carbon, affordable and reliable power for the long-term that is better for the planet, consumers and the economy. By 2020, the projects will provide up to £12 billion of private sector investment, supporting 8,500 jobs and will generate clean electricity to three million homes across the country.

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Vince Cable has issued a warning to Britain's top companies that they need to crack down on bonuses in order to rebuild trust.

    The Business Secretary has written to the FTSE 100 members to remind them about the damage that big pay awards can have on their public image. He said pay levels at banks had been "ridiculous", which comes at a time when Barclays prepares to meet with it's shareholders this Thursday. Barclays came under fire earlier this year when it put £2.5 billion into its bonus pot, despite its dip in profits.

  • Article: Apr 23, 2014

    Vince Cable has announced £133 million of new investment into projects that will put Formula One technology into buses and diggers, developing the next generation of engines. These projects will provide both economic and environmental benefits.

    Investment will go into the research and development into technologies for the vehicles of the future. This has the potential to secure up to 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and it will create many more in the supply chain.