Posts Tagged “benefits”

Lessons of Coalition: what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

by Stephen Tall on July 30, 2013

We’re more than three years in. What started in the Rose Garden has turned into a bed of thorns. The quieter summer weeks are as good a time as any to reflect on the key lessons the Lib Dems need to learn from this stint in government. Who knows? We may have a second chance [...]

Clegg threat to block any further welfare cuts unless Cameron agrees to tax wealthy pensioners’ benefits

by Stephen Tall on April 25, 2013

It’s 18 months since Nick Clegg first publicly aired the idea that some universal benefits given to better-off pensioners should be means-tested — an idea that’s found favour with two-thirds of Lib Dem members. There have always been three problems with the idea. The first problem is that means-testing is bureaucratic and potentially expensive. However, [...]

Welfare reform: what should the Lib Dems do?

by Stephen Tall on April 8, 2013

This much I think I know… Cuts to the overall welfare budget are inescapable: it accounts for too large a chunk of of public spending for it to be immune — certainly if the NHS, schools and overseas aid budgets are to be protected at the same time as spending is reduced. These cuts would [...]

Benefits, back-to-work and the unemployed: what Lib Dem members think

by Stephen Tall on March 31, 2013

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 650 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results. 70% say: withdraw unemployment benefits IF job offers refused without ‘good reason’ In principle, do you [...]

Benefits Uprating Bill: Andrew George and Charles Kennedy’s arguments AGAINST

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2013

The Government last night won the vote for its Benefits Uprating Bill, with the third and final reading passed by 305 votes to 246. A fortnight ago, six Lib Dem MPs voted against or abstained from the Coalition line that benefits rises should be capped at the same rate as public sector pay (a below [...]

Liberal Hero of the Week #24: David Cameron. (For balance, our Liberal Villain is George Osborne.)

by Stephen Tall on December 8, 2012

Welcome to the 24th in our series, Liberal Hero of the Week, chosen by Stephen Tall, Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and Research Associate at CentreForum. ’Liberal Heroes’ showcases those who promote the four liberal tenets identified in The Orange Book — economic, personal, political and social liberalism — highlighting individuals regardless of party affiliation and from [...]

Teather: “Benefit cap is immoral and divisive”

by Stephen Tall on November 18, 2012

Lib Dem MP for Brent Central Sarah Teather makes the front page of The Observer today for a powerful interview slamming the Government’s plans to bring in a benefit cap. I’m quoting extensively from it, below, but it’s well worth reading the whole piece here. This is clearly an issue that touches Sarah deeply, not [...]

Government suffers defeat in Lords over ‘new poll tax’ changes to council tax benefits

by Stephen Tall on October 22, 2012

The Government has suffered a defeat today on changes to the system of paying council tax benefit. As part of the Coalition’s existing welfare cuts, council tax relief is being reduced and local authorities are being given the power to set their own eligibility criteria from April 2013. As the Financial Times reported last week: [...]

What Lib Dem members think about means-testing pensioner benefits & a freeze on benefits payments

by Stephen Tall on October 4, 2012

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum before conference to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results. Two-thirds back means-testing of some wealthy pensioner benefits LDV asked: Nick Clegg has suggested [...]

‘Workfare’: the depressingly sterile ‘left/right’ debate is a challenge to liberals to sharpen our thinking

by Stephen Tall on February 26, 2012

Deborah Orr has a must-read article in the Guardian highlighting the inverted absurdity of this week’s row about the Coalition’s workfare programme, The slanging match over workfare is getting us nowhere. She points out that the very essence of workfare is government intervention in the workings of the free market, the state urging private companies [...]



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