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  • WBRRC driver, Paul Rock, with Judith Bunting
    Article: Apr 12, 2014

    Dear Mr Gauke,

    I contacted your office last year to enquire whether there might be any flexibility for amending the VAT rules to give a zero rating for charity funded rapid-response medical cars (see acknowledgement below 15/3/13).

    Have you had a chance to look into this?

    The current situation was brought to my attention by Andrew Sharp of West Berkshire Rapid Response Cars (copied in on this e mail). It is perverse: Rapid-response medical cars that attend humans in urgent distress are not VAT exempt, while emergency vehicles dealing with animals are.

  • Article: Apr 11, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have released a new factsheet which sets out the truth about the impact of Tuition Fees.

    As a party, we acknowledge that we couldn't deliver our policy on tuition fees - and we've apologised for this. But we did make sure the system was as fair as possible. To read the factsheet in full, click here.

  • Article: Apr 10, 2014

    Yesterday, the Lib Dem president, Tim Farron MP, launched the North East Lib Dems Europe campaign. Speaking about the European elections on 22nd May, Tim said it was a straight fight between the Lib Dems and UKIP, between IN vs Out.

    "If you want to leave Europe and risk the UK's future in the world then you vote UKIP. If, however, you think North East jobs are worth fighting for, and the peace and security that comes from being the EU is worth fighting for, there's only one party that's the party of in and that's the Liberal Democrats.

  • Article: Apr 10, 2014

    Nick Clegg has today announced an extra £300 million to help growing businesses and create tens of thousands of jobs across England.

    The £300 million forms part of the Liberal Democrat's Regional Growth Fund, which is now being delivered in Government. The Fund is designed to unlock billions of pounds of private sector investment and create sustainable employment and growth in a wide range of sectors across the country.

  • Mike Thornton MP
    Article: Apr 9, 2014

    "An appalling example of insensitivity."

    That's the reaction from a Hampshire MP after it emerged Hampshire County Council will make controversial cuts to support and alarm services for thousands of pensioners across Hampshire.

    The planned cuts, which didn't even appear in the Conservative-run County Council's budget last month, will see County Council funding for support and alarm services in all First Wessex properties stopped, meaning services like alarm pull-chords and emergency pendants will be under threat.

    The news emerged after First Wessex updated residents on the imminent changes. It is unclear exactly how many pensioners will be affected, but there are fears the changes will affect all Hampshire pensioners living in Housing Association accommodation and possible many thousands more.

    First Wessex currently provides support and alarm services, part-funded by the County Council, in the form of either pull-cords within the homes or pendants to aid residents to call for emergency assistance.

    With funding for alarm services due to be pulled from the end of this September, and support services' funding stopped by April next year, there are some doubts about how First Wessex and other Housing associations would be able to fund the shortfall.

  • Article: Apr 9, 2014

    The Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, has today outlined his proposals for a Mansion Tax. In a speech on tax this morning, Danny described some of the details of the Tax, which would apply on homes worth over £2 million.

    The Liberal Democrats first proposed our Mansion Tax in 2009 and have been pushing for it to be implemented in Government, against huge opposition from the Conservatives.

  • Labours-Record-on-Devolution.jpg
    Article: Apr 8, 2014

    Ed Miliband's claim that he wants the "the biggest economic devolution of power to England's great towns and cities in a hundred years" is ludicrous, considering their track record.

    When in power, Labour's Government was incredibly centralised.

    In contrast, The Liberal Democrats are already devolving powers to the cities and regions through mechanisms that are boosting local economies. These mechanisms include City Deals, the Local Growth Deal and the Regional Growth Fund, which are benefitting businesses and families, as well as creating new jobs and apprenticeships.

  • Article: Apr 8, 2014

    From September this year, all children between the ages of five and seven will receive free school meals, regardless of family income.

    Despite strong opposition from Tory backbenchers, the Liberal Democrats have fought to deliver free lunches in schools which will improve the lives of many children, as well as saving families £437 a year. Many studies have found that nutritious meals at school improve pupils' health, behaviour, concentration and their overall wellbeing. It makes a real difference in the classrooms, and these findings have been backed by the Department of Education and the Department of Health.

  • Article: Apr 7, 2014

    The Labour leadership has spent the last four years praying that the recovery would not materialise.

    For a long time they insisted that the Coalition's action to tackle the deficit would choke off growth. Wrong: the deficit has been eliminated by a third and growth is back.

    Then they claimed unemployment would rise by a million. Wrong: unemployment is coming down and we are seeing record numbers of people in work.

  • Magdalena-Ferkova.jpg
    Article: Apr 7, 2014

    Thanks to the European Arrest Warrant, a member of a Nottingham-based crime gang who fled the UK to avoid prison has been returned to Britain to start a five-year jail sentence.

    Magdalena Ferkova was part of a crime group that stole large amounts of public money. She had flown vulnerable foreign nationals to the UK to act as 'benefit tourists', illegally claiming over a million pounds in tax credits and Child Benefit. After luring the individuals to the UK and forcing them to make applications, Ferkova sent the claimants home.

Which policy do you prefer on the Council Tax?

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