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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."
(Preamble to the Party Constitution).

Justice delayed is justice denied.
-- William Ewart Gladstone

An End to Being Routinely Spied Upon by the Government

Tue, 1 May 2012
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Car Clamped A landmark move to roll back Labour's surveillance state has today become law.

The Protection of Freedoms Act will:

  • stop councils snooping
  • end the storage of DNA of innocent people
  • reduce the bureaucracy of CRB checks
  • end 28-day detention
  • stop schools deciding on their own to take fingerprints of children
  • Make stalking a criminal offence
  • End wheel clamping on private land
  • Delete historical convictions for men who have had consensual gay sex with someone who was over 16

Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for this piece of legislation, proposing a "Freedom Bill" more than four years ago when Nick Clegg was the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman.

Commenting, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equality, Tom Brake said:

"This is a milestone in the fight to claw back our civil liberties. Under the Labour government, our civil liberties were steadily eroded by an increasingly over-bearing security state.

"Liberal Democrats have done the right thing to clear up Labour's mess by ending these shameful practices with the Protection of Freedoms Act.

"The Coalition Government has already scrapped ID cards and destroyed the National Identity Register and is now making another leap forward with this Act to end Labour's surveillance state.

"The Act stops councils snooping, ends the storage of the DNA of innocent people, reduces the bureaucracy of CRB checks, curtails 28-day detention without charge and bans schools from taking children's fingerprints without parental permission."

Lib Dem Tax Policy gets Popular Vote

Fri, 2 March 2012

The Liberal Democrat policy of lifting more low and middle-income people out of paying tax altogether is resonating strongly with the general public.

In an opinion poll conducted by Opinium between February 21 and 23, voters were asked whether they were more or less likely to vote for the Liberal Democrats based on the current tax policy of raising the income tax threshold to 10,000.

  • Four out of five voters support an increase in the personal tax allowance
  • One fifth of all voters (21 per cent) say they are more likely to vote for the Liberal Democrats based on the party's current tax policy
  • 19 per cent of Conservative voters are more likely to vote Liberal Democrat
  • 21 per cent of Labour voters are more likely to vote Liberal Democrat

"Our priority is tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes, not the rich."

The Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Parliamentary Policy Committee Stephen Williams said:

"Nick Clegg has made clear the Liberal Democrats want to go further and faster when it comes to cutting taxes for working people. "These are tough times and we know people are feeling squeezed. That's why we want to do the right thing and put money back in people's pockets.

"Liberal Democrats have always been clear our priority is tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes, not the rich. That's why we put this policy on the front page of our manifesto and it's why we want to go further and faster." The policy is most popular in the West Midlands (29 per cent now more likely to vote Lib Dem) and the East Midlands (28 per cent). But this plays well in every region. In Scotland, where we did badly in 2011, 18 per cent of people are now more likely to vote Lib Dem.

The issue is also very popular with young people (30 per cent of 18-34yos say they are more likely to vote Lib Dem). Other polling has also shown the policy to be popular, with YouGov recently reporting 83 per cent support. They reported:

"The majority of Britons favour an increase in personal tax allowance, saying that workers should not pay tax on the first 10,000 of their earnings."

"83 per cent support an increase on personal tax allowance, so that people do not pay tax on the first 10,000 of their earnings, eight per cent oppose the increase."

Tim Farron: We are the only party to consistently call for lobbying reform

Mon, 17 Oct 2011

Responding to Ed Miliband's comments on lobbying, Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron said:

"Ed Miliband’s sudden interest in getting to grips with lobbying is mere opportunism, not least as he and his shadow cabinet voted against Liberal Democrat proposals for greater transparency on this very issue when they were in government.

"Liberal Democrats are the only party to have consistently called for reform of the rules around lobbying, that’s why there is a commitment to introduce a statutory register of lobbyists in the Coalition Agreement.

"Ed Miliband need not worry. On this issue, like many others, Liberal Democrats will deliver where the last government failed."

Top Tory Lord Hanningfield arrested over council expenses

Former peer Lord Hanningfield, who was jailed for expenses fraud, has now been arrested over money he claimed while Leader of Essex County Council.

The Conservative was released last week after being jailed for nine months for falsely claiming 14,000 while in the House of Lords.

He has been arrested by police investigating expenses claims he made while leader of Essex County Council, BBC correspondent Sally Chidzoy said.

Harlow Council meetings

Check here for up and coming Harlow Council meetings. Copies of committee agendas and papers can also be downloaded from the council's web site.

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