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The role of banks
Forum: Party Policy Draft Papers - Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
04-02-2020, 12:38 AM
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Freedom of Movement v Fre...
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Innovation, Production & ...
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
04-02-2020, 12:16 AM
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Party Policy: Moving Forw...
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
03-22-2020, 08:25 PM
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Living Wage v Citizens In...
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
03-22-2020, 08:11 PM
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Living Wage
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
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03-22-2020, 08:06 PM
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Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
03-22-2020, 07:57 PM
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Liberal Party NEC Stateme...
Forum: NEC Press Releases
Last Post: ReadingLib
03-22-2020, 02:34 PM
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Local Government & Powers
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
03-19-2020, 08:21 PM
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Fundamental Law - Nature ...
Forum: Constitutional Reform
Last Post: An Oswestrian Liberal
03-19-2020, 08:03 PM
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  Innovation, Production & A Living Wage
Posted by: An Oswestrian Liberal - 04-02-2020, 12:16 AM - Forum: Party Policy Discussion - No Replies

It could be argued that the reason why Chinese-made items are so cheap is because of the sweatshop labour practices that are used, as well as the population size of China which guarantees manpower. British-made items are great, but more expensive because of the Minimum Wage trap and the availability of secure employment.

If we were to adopt a local wage that is based on the cost of living in each area and is calculated based on age and then hours of productivity, rather than a blanket national wage that is calculated by age and then by hours of attendance, then the bosses wouldn't feel the pinch as much, could invest more in production and employ more staff.

If companies employed more staff, then there would be less unemployment and more production, thus an increase in sales and a big step towards recovery for the British economy.

The problem with Tory business policy is that it was, and still is, too focused around profit and economic growth, rather than investment, innovation and economic stability.

Take the ARM processor for example. Invented by Acorn Computers in Cambridge, and now owned by the British ARM Holdings, but most likely manufactured abroad. It's used in all of the Raspberry Pi computers that are manufactured in Pencoed, Wales. Unfortunately, however, the chipset is American.

If the British Government had invested in IT the same way that it previously invested in telecommunications, we as a nation would, by now, have an array of inventions and ideas that would out the Americans and Japanese to shame.

If we are to fund British investment in future technology, we need to support British-made technology such as the Raspberry Pi and create demand for competitors.

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Posted by: An Oswestrian Liberal - 03-22-2020, 07:57 PM - Forum: Party Policy Discussion - No Replies

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have devolved administrations, with varying degrees of responsibility. The remaining matters reserved by Westminster are devolved to the Scotland Office, the Wales Office and the Northern Ireland Office, and are scrutinised by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Grand Committees.

In England, only Greater London has a devolved administration, with a directly-elected Mayor. The rest of England, however, still accepts direct rule from Westminster, although some areas have Combined Authorities. A policy called 'English Votes for English Laws' [or 'EVEL'] was introduced in 2015, in an attempt to address the devolution inequality that was created in 1998.

These are some key points of EVEL:-

  • The bill is be proposed before the House of Commons and the Speaker would determine whether the bill affects England only, England & Wales or, for finance and tax bills, England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
  • The bill will go through the normal legislative procedure, except that following the report stage, the bill would be passed to a Legislative Grand Committee for scrutinisation.
  • This Legislative Grand Committee would consist of all MPs for the areas that the law would affect. Also, unless I'm mistaken, the Select Committee would also be comprised of MPs only for those areas.
  • Regardless of which home nation the Secretary of State for this matter is from, they would always be involved in the lawmaking process that would only affect one of the three territorial jurisdictions that this bill would involve.
This is an unacceptable way to treat the U.K.'s fourth constituent country. The Speaker should not be given sole responsibility of determining what area the bill affects - that responsibility should, at least, lay with the Member of Parliament bringing the bill to the House.

It also gives the impression that the good people of England - the nation that founded the Westminster system - cannot be trusted to have their own legislature. If we are to be a modern nation, each with their own devolved responsibilities, we need a clearer, uniform system of federalism. Either each nation has devolved legislatures or each nation has direct rule from Westminster; the system we have at present is unfair.

Once this situation has been addressed, the next question should be - what model of government would Greater London have in a new, federal United Kingdom? Many nations such as the United States of America, Australia, India and Brazil have their own Federal Territories where the seat of government sits; London would be our seat of federal government, so would be a Federal Territory to the United Kingdom.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - Assistance for family finances during the viral pandemi
Posted by: ReadingLib - 03-22-2020, 02:34 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the continued media attention on the issue of financial support for families affected by the current viral pandemic and its economic fallout.

The vulnerability of the low paid, those on zero hours contracts or universal credit to any protracted crisis has been in the public arene for some time as has the perilous state on many family’s finances more than a decade after the financial crisis.

The need for many workers and their families is prompt intervention and although we welcome the governments announcements on aid these need to be translated into action in a very short timeframe.

The party therefore believes more immediate results would be achieved by a council tax holiday, or a one-off tax rebate, coupled with a pensions or benefits bonus and would provide a targeted boost to depleted family finances.

In the aftermath of the current crisis the Liberal Party calls for better protection for workers’ rights, access to statutory sick pay, unemployment benefit and reasonable time off for domestic and health issues.

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  Local Government & Powers
Posted by: An Oswestrian Liberal - 03-19-2020, 08:21 PM - Forum: Party Policy Discussion - No Replies

The Liberal Party advocates the establishment of Local Councils in every Town, Parish and Community throughout the UK. Each area without a Local Council would receive a Council and each Council would serve between 2,000 and 5,000 people.

So far, the state of local government throughout England has never been unfair and unequal. Whereas Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each have a uniform model of local government, England [excluding Greater London] finds itself riddled with different models of Local Authority for different areas:-

  • Some areas are run by Unitary Authorities; some areas are run by a two-tier model of County and District Councils; some Counties have the two-tier model and Unitary Authorities thrown in for good measure.
  • There are also six Metropolitan Counties, each with a Unitary Authority and a Combined Authority to act as the upper tier that was abolished in 1986.
  • There are also two sui-generis authorities in England - the Isles of Scilly Council and the City of London Corporation
  • On top of that, roughly 80% of England is parished, which means that there are some areas remaining without a Local Council.
Within the Towns, Parishes and Communities that do have Local Councils, very essential powers that should be devolved to those Local Councils are kept in the hands of the Local Authorities, where, for example, a Councillor for one village could vote on a planning matter that affects another village.

Would it not be better to give each Local Council the General Power of Competence, to allow each Council to exercise responsibilities on behalf of the Local Authority and the individual, thus returning powers to the Parishes, Towns and Communities? In fact, would it not be a more Liberal policy to devolve all local government powers to the Local Councils, and each Local Council devolve a power to the Local Authority to exercise on their behalf? Responsibilities like planning, development, licensing, revenue collection, civic amenities, education and signage would be better exercised at Parish, Town or Community level. After all, Local Councils have always been, and remain, the first tier of local democracy.

Furthermore, the existence of Police & Crime Commissioners, Combined Authorities and Metro Mayors creates another level of bureaucracy and takes local powers away from local people. Either we adopt a Unitary model or retreat back to the two-tier model, each with the Committee system instead of the Leader & Cabinet system.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - Community Groups during the coronavirus self-isolation
Posted by: ReadingLib - 03-19-2020, 06:49 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the increase emphasis being placed on self-isolation to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Firstly, the party would like to emphasise how community groups can safely support older people and other vulnerable groups during these difficult times.

Self-isolation restricts many groups from activities such as shopping, exercise and the social contacts which allow their wellbeing to be checked-on and delays prompt assistance.

We would ask people to be aware of those in their local community who may need a courteous check and to offer what assistance we can without compromising the isolation regime which is in place.

The current pandemic is expected to have a protracted impact on our daily life and community action can act as a stabilising factor.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - The business impact of the coronavirus
Posted by: ReadingLib - 03-17-2020, 07:44 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - Replies (1)

The Liberal Party notes the continued escalation in the country’s response to the coronavirus and the latest advice from the Government to avoid all none-essential social contact.

The nation’s business owners now face an unparalleled risk to their existence and the party calls upon the government to take urgent action to safeguard jobs and businesses.

Airlines, train operators and hotel chains are already seeing drastic falls in business and this will now spread to the retail and service sectoring including clubs, pubs and restaurants.

Practical steps such as temporary relief from business rates, negotiated rent reductions and increased bank assistance all help business survive over the coming weeks until the pandemic has peaked.

Without such support already hard-pressed high streets will see a further and irreversible loss of occupied premises and the jobs and livelihoods which depend on these.

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  Liberal Party NEC and Special Assembly - July 4th 2020
Posted by: ReadingLib - 02-12-2020, 06:44 PM - Forum: General Discussion - News and Views - No Replies

The next open NEC and Special Assembly will be the 4th July, between 11am and 4pm at the Briar Rose Hotel in Birmingham, B2 5RE.
Please forward any motions for the Special Assembly in advance.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - The Closure of High Street Chains
Posted by: ReadingLib - 01-25-2020, 06:39 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the continued closure of high street shopping chains, most recently Mothercare, selected branches of Debenhams and HMV as well as the department store chain Beales now entering administration.

The loss of high street retailers has a direct effect on local employment, reduced business rates income to councils and leave many urban centres in a derelict state.

A combination of changing shopping habits, online competition, increased business rates and perceived high rental costs continue to impose a heavy burden on conventional business.

Although many businesses are siting high rentals charges as an issue in itself, it should be noted these simply reflected market rates and should not be seen in isolation. Landlord are themselves businesses and lose rental income when business cease trading.

The party urgently calls upon the government to direct its efforts towards revitalising the nations highstreets with reform to the business rates system, and a level playing field for bricks and motor business regarding online competition.

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  NEC and Special Assembly Feb 1st 2020
Posted by: PaulB - 12-27-2019, 05:15 PM - Forum: General Discussion - News and Views - No Replies

There will be a Special Assembly and NEC meeting in Birmingham on the 1st February 2020.
It will be held in the Briar Rose Hotel, Bennett's Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RE and will run from midday till 4pm.
Please let Stephen Graham have any items you wish to have on the agenda and any motions for discussion in advanced.
Stephen would also like to supply letters delegating nominating rights and certificates of authority to stand as a party candidate to  anybody looking to stand in next may’s elections.

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  Liberal Party General Election Manifesto 2019 -Devolved Powers
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-06-2019, 07:42 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The basis of Liberal policy on government is that power and service provision is devolved down to the lowest and most local decision-making body consistent with the efficient use of resources. In this way, much of the power currently concentrated at Westminster and Whitehall could be devolved, leaving Parliament to manage the economy and international affairs.
We support further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and call for a Cornish and English Regional Assemblies to be established.
Promoted by Stephen Graham on behalf of the Liberal Party, 12 Dayworth Mews, Lundy Lane, Reading, RG30 2RR

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