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Today's Headlines

June 10, 2020 12:11 PM
By Danny Simm

Liberal Democrats propose flexible employment rights for carers in new Bill

Today Ed Davey, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, will introduce a Bill in the House of Commons to give carers more rights to flexible working, helping balance employment with caring responsibilities.

  • Britain's employment law doesn't give carers the support they need as they try to juggle their caring responsibilities with going to work. A genuinely caring society should allow them to do both. This Bill would ensure that when a carer makes a request to work flexibly, the law is behind them.
  • This is good for carers, who will have more freedom, but it's also good for employers, who can tap into the talents of the estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK.
  • As this is National Carers' Week, we urge the Government to adopt this Bill and offers carers more than warm words.

Govt must help businesses and people excluded from support schemes

Yesterday the Government confirmed that 8.9 million jobs have been furloughed and 2.6 million claims submitted to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

  • The furlough scheme and income support for self-employed people, which the Liberal Democrats fought hard to get, are providing a lifeline for millions of families.
  • However, far too many people are still excluded from this support, including those who recently became self-employed and those who operate as limited companies. The Chancellor must expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to cover these people.
  • The Government must not leave behind people and businesses without the support they need when these schemes come to an end. Many parts of our economy, such as tourism and hospitality, will simply not be back up to speed by October.
  • The Government must bring forward bespoke packages of support for these industries to save jobs and prevent mass unemployment.

Govt wrong to deny Brexit extension

The UK Government confirmed yesterday that it will tell the EU on Friday it is not going to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period.

  • Food shortages, medicine shortages, and an unprecedented hit to jobs and livelihoods: that is what the UK is facing if we crash out of the EU without a deal.
  • Boris Johnson's ideological stubbornness will see the most vulnerable in our country hit hardest.
  • With the country already struggling as a result of Covid-19, it beggars belief that the Government are happy to pile Brexit on top of this already devastating situation.
  • Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the Government to think again and extend the transition period.

Govt failing to provide laptops for thousands of disadvantaged pupils

The Secretary of State for Education confirmed yesterday that the Government plans to distribute just 230,000 laptops to disadvantaged pupils. This falls far short of the number needed for the 700,000 pupils who currently lack access to devices, according to evidence given to the Education Committee.

  • Gavin Williamson's plan clearly leaves thousands of children behind without access to devices to learn. It's simple maths.
  • There's a huge gap between the number of devices needed and the number being delivered. We can't let the disadvantage gap become a gulf - the Government needs to step up and ensure every child has the ability to learn at home during this crisis.

Surge in mental ill health demands urgent action

A report released today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that the coronavirus pandemic has had substantial negative impacts on mental health across the population.

  • It is worrying that so many people, particularly the young are experiencing a detrimental mental health impact as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
  • Ministers must act urgently. That's why the Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to increase funding for and provision of mental health support.
  • We are calling on the Government to develop a cross-departmental mental health plan to determine methods to improve mental wellbeing for those affected by the outbreak.

Record levels of domestic abuse demands tougher law, warn Lib Dems

Reports from the NSPCC today show that children impacted by domestic abuse has risen to an average of one an hour during the coronavirus lockdown,

  • Domestic abuse leaves a devastating, lifelong impact on survivors. To know that cases have spiked to a record level during the coronavirus lockdown is terrifying.
  • Ministers must act. Not only must the Government address shortages in services but Ministers must also use the Domestic Abuse Bill to strengthen protection and support for survivors.
  • We are urging the Government to support amendments tabled by the Liberal Democrats to improve key aspects of this Bill, and help those who are trapped without resources to leave abusive homes.