Posts Tagged ‘Nick Clegg’

The National LibDems – The Pre-Manifesto

31st August 2014 by Phil Comments Off on The National LibDems – The Pre-Manifesto

This week, on Wednesday 3 September, the national party will launch our pre-manifesto, which will form the backbone of the party’s general election platform.

The party’s focus will be a ‘manifesto for the next generation’ with a host of policies aimed at improving the life chances of children and young people.  Read Nick Clegg’s foreword to the pre-manifesto here. As Nick says, “This is a manifesto about the future: your future, your children’s future, and Britain’s future.”

For more news and announcements from the national party, including extensive discussions of what will go into our eventual full election manifesto, see here.


The Lib Dems, the Budget, and Taxes: We Did It!

20th March 2014 by Phil Comments Off on The Lib Dems, the Budget, and Taxes: We Did It!

Nick Clegg has thanked Lib Dem activists for their work, which has enabled us to influence national tax policy:

“Because thousands of people like you backed our campaign, millions of working people are going to get an £800 tax cut.  …  It´s really simple. This tax cut has only happened because the Liberal Democrats are in Government. And we´re only there because of your support.”



More from the LibDems Nationally

12th February 2014 by Phil Comments Off on More from the LibDems Nationally

31 January

Extracts from another recent e-mail to local LibDem branches from party chief executive Tim Gordon:

GDP figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show encouraging signs of economic recovery thanks to Liberal Democrats in Government. The figures show Britain’s economic growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter in 2013. Growth was up 1.9% in 2013.

These figures are further evidence that the recovery is becoming established. 2013 was the first year since 2007 to see economic growth in all four quarters. Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society. To ensure the recovery is long term and sustainable, we need business to invest now.

General Economy

Our economy is growing because of the hard work of people and businesses throughout Britain. The Coalition’s economic plan is the rock on which our recovery is being built. Three and a half years in, and the Coalition’s priority is still the same: fixing the economy and cleaning up the mess Labour left behind.

That task has never been simply about balancing the books. We inherited an economy that had become profoundly unbalanced. Growth was driven almost entirely by one industry: financial services, and almost exclusively from one city: London. And behind the boom was a nation becoming less productive and less competitive. For years, governments had simply papered over the cracks.

The Liberal Democrats didn’t come into Government just to make cuts. For us, this has always been about setting in motion a much more fundamental overhaul of our economy so that Britain never finds itself here again. That is not something you can do overnight. There are no quick fixes. No shortcuts to prosperity. It is a slow and steady process.

We’re cutting your income tax bill by £700. Council tax freezes mean that, on average, households are £1,000 better off over the course of this Parliament. Because we’ve frozen fuel duty, you’re £7 better off every time you fill up your tank. Families with young children will save £1,200 per child through our tax free childcare. And, on top of that, if they’re in infants school, you’ll save over £400 per child, per year because we’re going to provide free school meals.

We’re helping people with the cost of living in other ways. On 2 December, we announced proposals to cut £50 a year from energy bills, while maintaining our support for vulnerable households and green commitments. Council tax freezes are, on average, saving households in England £1,000 over the course of this parliament. Our fuel duty freeze is saving people £7 every time they fill up their tank. Families with young children will save £1,200 per child through our tax free childcare and will also benefit from our free school meals policy for infants – worth more than £400 per year per child.

We have created more than a million new jobs since 2010 and now we’re working to create a million more. There are more people in work today than at any other time in our history. We’re helping young people find work. Since 2010 we’ve helped create more than 1.5m new apprenticeships, at twice the rate that Labour managed. Nick Clegg’s £1bn Youth Contract is supporting work experience, wage incentives and apprenticeships.

We still have a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction. We have had three successive quarters of GDP growth. Under Labour, the economy shrunk for five consecutive quarters. Other economic indicators are also positive:

Key Facts

  •  Thanks to our changes, disposable income was higher last year than in any of the 13 years under Labour. And the amount of money people had in their pockets adjusted for inflation grew by 1.6% in 2012.
  • By fixing the economy we have helped keep interest rates at historic lows, saving £2,000 per year for a family taking out a standard fixed-rate mortgage of £100,000.
  •  GDP grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2013, following growth of 0.8% in Q3.

Syrian Refugees

On Wednesday, Nick Clegg  confirmed that the UK will be providing refuge to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. We will provide refuge for some of those most traumatised by the crisis, such as vulnerable women or children.

Nick said: “I am pleased to be able to announce today that the UK will be providing refuge to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. The Coalition Government wants to play our part in helping to alleviate the immense suffering in Syria. The £600m we have provided makes us the second largest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid in the world.

“But as the conflict continues to force millions of Syrians from their homes, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can. We are one of the most open hearted countries in the world and I believe we have a moral responsibility to help.

“The UN High Commission for Refugees – which backs our new resettlement programme – has said the highest priority should go to women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of sexual violence; the elderly; survivors of torture and individuals with disabilities, so that’s who we’ll target.”

Key Facts

  • We have not set a quota for the number of refugees we will take. We are not focused on a target, we’re focused on helping the most vulnerable. For example, the UNHCR currently has a handful of very difficult cases that they need urgent help with. But the overall is likely to be in the hundreds.
  • We will work with UNHCR to look at the individuals involved on a case-by-case basis, for those most in need.
  • We expect them to be identified and come to this country over a steady period over the coming months and year.
  • The UK has already committed £600m in humanitarian aid to help alleviate the immense suffering in Syria – making us the second largest bilateral donor.
  • More than 11.5 million Syrians are now in need of help – either in Syria or neighbouring countries – and our priority has been providing food, shelter and medical treatment in the region.


When a referendum on the EU comes the Liberal Democrats will campaign unambiguously as the party of IN. As Nick Clegg said, leaving the EU would be ‘economic suicide’.

Nick Clegg has called on pro-Europeans, businesses and organisations to join a ‘coalition for the national interest’ to make the case publicly for the benefits of being in Europe. He launched the party’s #whyiamIN campaign, calling on people to declare why they are in favour of being in Europe, which received thousands of online responses including support from Richard Branson.

He said: “Whatever you do, just don’t let the isolationists speak for you or dominate this debate. And if you are for IN, don’t wait for others to say it; make yourselves heard.”

Liberal Democrats are fighting to defend millions of jobs, create millions more and put thousands of pounds back in your pocket by supporting EU membership, making it easier for British companies to trade with the EU and beyond, slashing red tape for small businesses and cutting the EU budget.

A Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society

Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to anchor Britain in the centre ground by building a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.

That’s why in Government we have:

Fixed the mess left by Labour. We have reduced the deficit by a third, kept interest rates down, and helped business create over a million jobs.


Eased the squeeze on household budgets by cutting income tax by £700 for 24m people, giving every 5, 6 and 7 year old a free school meal daily, giving 15 hours free child care to all 3 and 4 year olds and 40% of 2 year olds, freezing fuel duty, and delivering the biggest ever cash rise in the state pension

Voters face three choices in the coming election. A left-wing Labour party, a right-wing Tory party, or a liberal party of the centre ground. Neither Labour nor the Tories can be trusted to govern Britain from the centre ground.

Tim Gordon


LibDems Nationally in 2013

31st December 2013 by Phil Comments Off on LibDems Nationally in 2013

Extracts from a recent e-mail to local LibDem branches from Tim Gordon, the party’s chief executive:

Just before Christmas, the Energy Act, pushed through by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, received Royal Assent. This new law should help to create 200,000 green jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Liberal Democrats are undoubtedly the party of green and have kept tackling climate change on the agenda, despite the shift in Tory attitude on the subject.

Looking back on 2013, we can be proud of what Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered:

  • The increase in the tax allowance is worth around £600 to millions of basic rate tax payers this year, over £700 as of next April, and in the next budget Liberal Democrats want to provide a further workers’ bonus to lift the allowance even further.
  • Nick Clegg announced that the Coalition will fund schools in England to provide every child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 with a hot, healthy meal at lunchtime. Over the course of a year the average family spends more than £400 on school lunches per child.
  • The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is a clear step forward for equality and same sex couples will be able to get married from Saturday, March 29, 2014.

As a party, we defied expectations in the Eastleigh by-election and welcomed Mike Thornton to Westminster.

We end the  year with membership growing which is a great sign for the year ahead.

Tim Gordon
Chief Executive


More from Nick Clegg

19th November 2013 by Phil Comments Off on More from Nick Clegg

From a recent message from Nick Clegg:

In April we’ll hit our target: a £700 income tax cut for millions of people. But I want to go further. Before the end of the parliament, I want to cut income tax bills by another £100.

Think of it as a workers’ bonus.  The British people have lived with austerity for three years. Your sacrifices are making it possible for us to fix the economy. This is your recovery and you deserve to feel the benefits – without delay.

The Liberal Democrats want to cut your taxes further because you’ve earned it.

When we came into government, our priority was to increase the personal allowance – the point at which you start paying tax on your earnings – to £10,000. We’ve raised it every year and we’ll hit the £10,000 mark in a few months. But, rather than stop there, I’ll be pushing for another fully funded rise, taking it up to £10,500. That’s an extra £100 back in your pocket and it brings us a step closer to the Liberal Democrats’ goal for the next parliament: increasing the personal allowance to the minimum wage.

Sign our petition for a workers’ bonus.




Another Letter from Nick Clegg (October 2013)

21st October 2013 by Phil Comments Off on Another Letter from Nick Clegg (October 2013)

Extracted from a recent letter from Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, to LibDem party members:

Remember this?

I know I don’t usually send you videos of the Prime Minister. But this one – where he tells me it would be impossible to raise the personal allowance to £10,000 – is worth watching again. Especially now the Tories are desperately trying to take credit for delivering it!

When you hear Conservative activists out and about, claiming that the £700 income tax cut was their party’s doing, remind them of this:

Not only did they oppose the policy before the last election; in the 2012 Budget, when I wanted to go further and faster to reach our  £10,000 target, the Conservatives only agreed to it in return for a tax cut for top earners – cutting the top rate of income tax to 45p.

So while the Liberal Democrats fought for tax cuts for millions, the Conservatives prioritised tax cuts for millionaires.

Now I hear they’re considering a promise, at the next election, to raise the personal allowance to £12,500. That’s a great idea. So good, in fact, that we’ve already had it. This is almost identical to the Liberal Democrats’ plan to raise the personal allowance to the minimum wage – a commitment we agreed at our Spring Conference last year and which I want to see at the heart of our manifesto in 2015.

The Liberal Democrats are, and will continue to be, the party of fair taxes.


A Letter from Nick Clegg

26th March 2013 by Phil Comments Off on A Letter from Nick Clegg

Dear Friend,

Agreeing the Budget is a long and painstaking process.

It started at the beginning of the year, with a presentation by the Chancellor to the Quad (that’s me, him, the PM and Danny Alexander). The information is confidential enough that everyone in the room – even the PM – has to give back the print-outs at the end of the meeting for them to be locked away in the Treasury again.

And the discussions on the fine details of our policy plans went right up to the last minute with a succession of emails and phone calls between our offices agreeing changes to the small print. The series of meetings in between were, as ever, all-absorbing, as we traded proposal and counter-proposal and, slowly, a consensus emerged. The one that sticks in my mind most of all was held on a Sunday evening, in an otherwise deserted 10 Downing Street, right after our Spring Conference.

It being a Sunday evening, when most of us would have given anything to be at home with our families, someone laid on dinner. We all had cottage pie as we pored over the figures and agreed the plans.

And at the end of all that economic analysis, confidential briefings and cottage pie, I think we put together a Budget Liberal Democrats can be really proud of.

We cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes: ensuring that from next April no-one will pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn – a total £700 tax cut for millions of working people.

We stopped a planned rise in fuel duty, helping people with one of the biggest worries they face: how to afford to fill up the tank to get to work.

And we’re backing people who want to buy a home with a new scheme called Help to Buy which effectively makes the “bank of mum and dad” many first time buyers have had to rely on available to everyone: an equity loan, on favourable terms, to make your deposit money go further and help you get a mortgage.

This Budget has Lib Dem credentials all through it. Bringing forward the date for Steve Webb’s flat rate pension and the cap on care costs for the elderly put forward by Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb. And the cut in beer duty my Yorkshire colleague Greg Mulholland has fought so valiantly for in his campaign to save the local pub!

Of course the Budget wasn’t all good news. The economy is still struggling to emerge from the massive shock it suffered. That’s why we sensibly decided to let the debt target slip another year – sticking to our overall plan, but not dogmatically so. As I said at our Spring Conference, we’ve got to be unflinching but not unthinking in our approach.

That’s why we are doing everything possible to get the economy moving, and balance the books. Even in these difficult times, more will be spent on infrastructure in this decade than Labour managed in the last – even though they spent money hand over fist on almost everything else. This budget announced investment in the construction of social and private rented homes, a new £2000 employee allowance to cut the cost of National Insurance when businesses take on staff, and an industrial strategy that has already put £1bn into Britain’s world-beating aviation industry.

This Budget does exactly what I hoped: it delivers on our core objective to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.


PS A big congratulations to our two newest councillors, Cllr Richard Arnold in North Dorset and Cllr Ron Tindall in Dacorum, elected on Thursday night in local council by-elections, proving once again that where we work, we can win.


Nick Clegg’s New Year Message

4th January 2011 by Tim Comments Off on Nick Clegg’s New Year Message

We thought you may be interested in hearing Nick Clegg’s New Year message, click the link below to view;

Nick Clegg’s New Year Message