Today the Liberal Democrats will set out a bold plan to end rough sleeping within five years, spanning social housing, welfare, local authority funding and legal changes
Shadow Housing Secretary Tim Farron declared that “nobody should have to spend a night sleeping on the streets” and announced a package of measures to prevent rough sleeping, including:
- Scrapping the Vagrancy Act
- Introducing a “somewhere safe to stay” duty on local authorities to provide immediate emergency accommodation
- Abolishing Section 21 “no fault” evictions
- Increasing Local Housing Allowance payments
- Providing accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse
- Extending the “move on” period for refugees from 28 days to 56
The latest government figures show that, under the Conservatives, the number of rough sleepers in England on a single night has risen by 31% since 2015, to 4,677. In 2018, 1,320 people were prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act, according to the homelessness charity Crisis.
A Liberal Democrats Government would increase the minimum wage by 20 per cent for zero-hour contract employees and introduce a raft of policies to create a working environment that protects employees.
The new, higher minimum wage for those on zero-hours contracts will seek to compensate workers for the uncertainty of fluctuating incomes.
As part of their plan for the future of work, the Liberal Democrats will also promise to establish a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status for workers tied to one employer, which enshrines rights such as minimum earnings, sick pay and holiday entitlement.
The party will also give workers the right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months, which could not be unreasonably refused.
Nick Ireland, Liberal Democrat candidate for South Dorset, said:
"Some people in South Dorset rely on a job which involves a zero hour contract. Rather than ban zero hour contracts, the LibDems will fix them"
The vote you cast in the 2019 General Election might be the most important of your lifetime. I urge you to take a few minutes to read my offer from the Liberal Democrats.
You know that the Liberal Democrats have campaigned to stop Brexit so that we can build a better future. We have the most coherent strategy for rebuilding your trust in politics. We will address the real issues of cuts to public services in Dorset, looking after your family and tackling climate change head-on.
The best interests of Dorset residents are close to my heart because I live and work in South Dorset. Families are working harder than ever, but far too many are struggling to get by. My wife, who works in the NHS, witnesses the consequences of underfunding daily. I am aware that increasingly number of working families in South Dorset rely on food banks. It’s a travesty that this situation exists and appears to be acceptable to a Conservative led government.
The Liberal Democrats have announced that they would expand the 'Blue Belt' of Marine Protected areas to cover at least 50% of the UK's territorial waters, including overseas territories, by 2030.
Expanding the network of Marine Protected Areas will mean ensuring better regulation of commercial activities like fishing and protecting biodiversity in key habitats through effective monitoring.
Liberal Democrats will also protect and restore England’s lakes, rivers and wetlands, through reform of water management and the introduction of higher water efficiency standards. To tackle plastic pollution - a major threat to the marine environment - Liberal Democrats will introduced a Zero-Waste and Resource Efficiency Act, encouraging the transition towards a circular economy in the UK.
A Liberal Democrat government will take bold steps to safeguard our precious marine environment. This is at the heart of our plan to build a brighter future.
Dishonest to promise more nurses under Boris Johnson
Responding to the Conservative Party manifesto commitment to 50,000 more nurses, Liberal Democrat candidate in South Dorset, Nick Ireland said:
"The Conservative manifesto promises 50,000 new nurses, although it doesn’t say when it aims to deliver this by or whether they’ll all be full-time. According to reports since the manifesto launch, the 50,000 figure includes 18,500 existing nurses who will be encouraged not to leave the NHS, or attracted to rejoin after leaving. Again Boris Johnson plans lack credibility."
"The nurses shortage is a direct result of Conservative Policies to push through Brexit and cut nurse bursaries."
"A Liberal Democrat government will introduce a national NHS recruitment strategy and ring-fence £7 billion a year through putting a penny on the pound on income tax. Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future for our NHS and those who work in it."
Lib Dems to invest 7 billion to save our schools
The Liberal Democrats have today announced an extra £7 billion over five years from the Party's infrastructure budget for new school buildings and repairs to keep up with rising pupil numbers.
Liberal Democrat candidate in South Dorset Nick Ireland said:
"Many of our schools in Dorset have been neglected and money is needed to bring them back up to standard"
Creative subjects are at the heart of plans to build a brighter future
Liberal Democrats will put creative subjects back at the heart of the school curriculum as part of their plans to build a brighter future for our young people.
Under the Conservatives, a combination of school funding cuts, high-stakes testing and targets have squeezed creative subjects out of the classroom. Around 3,500 fewer secondary school teachers are employed in art, music, drama and design & technology compared to 2015. The number of hours spent teaching D&T in secondary schools has fallen by almost a quarter over the same period.
Nick Ireland, Liberal Democrat Candidate in South Dorset said "The school curriculum has been cut back under this Tory government. This has narrowed the options for many. Often funding dictates the subjects studied rather than giving our young people the choice to pursue their dreams"
"In Dorset our schools are crying out for the appropriate funding to support our children across the curriculum."
A Liberal Democrat government will tackle the housing crisis by ensuring that 300,000 new homes are built per year, including 100,000 social homes for rent.
The party will invest in building 100,000 social homes for rent each year through a £10 billion capital infrastructure investment, as well as establishing a Rent to Own model for social housing and providing government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
Building secure homes which are fit for the future is at the heart of the Liberal Democrats' plan for a brighter future.
Lib Dems will freeze rail fare increases in South Dorset boosting the local economy
The Liberal Democrats have announced they will freeze rail fare increases for tourists, commuters and season ticket holders for the next five years, while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.
A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for December 2019 and freeze fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.
The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises apply delay repay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.
This will encourage people to use public transport, taking cars off the road to avoid congestion in Dorset, which contributes to climate change. We need efficient, reliable public transport that is attractive and reasonably priced for the public to use.
The Liberal Democrats launch their 2019 General Election Manifesto, outlining a clear plan to build a brighter future for people and the planet. The first step will be to stop Brexit and use a £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in public services and tackling inequality.
The Liberal Democrats' ambitious plan for a brighter future, where every person, every community and our planet can thrive, includes:
- Stopping Brexit and investing the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequalities.
- Tackling the climate emergency by generating 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030
- Building a fairer economy, transforming opportunities by providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills & training throughout their lives
- Giving every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools
- Transforming our mental health services by treating mental health with the same urgency as physical health.
- Adopting a public health approach to serious violence with investment in community policing and youth services.
- Fixing the broken immigration system by scrapping the Conservatives' hostile environment, ending indefinite detention and taking powers away from the Home Office.