Brexit costing public services up to £470m a week

QE2 Urgent Care Centre, Welwyn Garden City

The Liberal Democrats have revealed that Brexit is already costing the government £380-£470 million a week – money that could have been spent on the NHS instead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that GDP is £55–£66 billion lower this year than it would have been without Brexit, mainly due to uncertainty deterring business investment. Business investment in the UK has fallen by 3% since the end of 2017, whereas other G7 countries have seen it grow.

Based on the IFS figures, the Lib Dems have calculated that public sector receipts (which are 37% of GDP) are £20.3–24.3 billion lower this year than they would have been, which equates to £380–470 million a week.

The claims and counter claims about the NHS in this election can be traced all the way back to Boris’s big red Brexit bus and the now widely discredited claim that leaving the EU would give the NHS £350,000,000 a week.

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Vote Lib Dem to ‘stop Boris and stop Brexit’

Vote Lib Dem to ‘stop Boris and stop Brexit’

We urge all Remain voters in Welwyn Hatfield to vote Liberal Democrat to "stop Boris and stop Brexit in the most important election in our lifetimes”.

With just three days until polling stations open, the Lib Dems have unveiled ready-to-go legislation for a People’s Vote as soon as Parliament returns after the results on Thursday.

We would introduce two draft bills that together would pave the way to a People's Vote on Brexit. First, a ‘Paving Bill’ which would enable the Electoral Commission to start the necessary consultation around a referendum question and lead campaign designation. Secondly, a full Bill which would provide for a referendum on the deal versus staying in the European Union.

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The state of school buildings is a ‘disgrace’ and putting ‘lives at risk’

Crumbling schools a disgrace

Liberal Democrat candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, Paul Zukowskyj, has said the state of school buildings ‘is a disgrace’ and urgent investment is required after years of Tory cuts.

His remarks come after an investigation by The Guardian found one in five school buildings in England require urgent repairs. Nearly 700 schools have been referred to the national health and safety body over concerns they are failing to safely manage asbestos in their buildings, potentially putting thousands of staff and pupils at risk, the report reveals.

It is thought that about 90% of school buildings in England contain asbestos, often around pipes and boilers, and in wall and ceiling tiles. Last year, according to The Guardian, the government launched the asbestos management assurance process to find out more about asbestos in schools. According to information released following a freedom of information request, of the 2,952 schools bodies that responded in full to the survey, 2,570 (87%) reported having asbestos in at least one of their buildings.

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Lib Dems leading on business and innovation

Turbo-charging the UK’s position as a “global research powerhouse”

The Liberal Democrats have set out a plan today to turbo-charge the UK’s position as a “global research powerhouse” with a £17bn research and development fund that will help level the economic playing field across all regions.

The five-year funding programme will be used to leverage private investment and ensure that national spending on research and development reaches 3% of GDP as soon as possible. The additional funding would come out of a £130 billion capital investment fund that would also support vital infrastructure projects across the country.

Part of this funding would increase investment in the Strength in Places fund, which is designed to support regional growth by investing in programmes that would help close the economic gap between regions. So far, the South East has secured investment for a major agri-tech support programme.

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174% rise in homeless children in East of England a ‘shocking indictment’

Child homelessness is a shocking indictment on modern society

The 174% increase in homeless children in the East of England is a ‘shocking indictment’ on modern society.

A report released by Shelter reveals that 135,000 children will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation on Christmas Day in Britain, affecting one in 107 children.

Shelter also highlighted the impact of temporary accommodation such as emergency B&Bs and hostels on families, where the facilities were often sub-standard and lacked privacy and security for families.

In the East of England, there were 8,400 children living in temporary accommodation as of 31 March 2019 out of a total child population for the region of 1,404,273. This equates to one in every 167 children living in temporary accommodation.

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Ofsted stats reveal Tory failure on school standards

Teacher and Pupils

The Conservatives have let over 1,000 schools go unvisited by inspectors for over a decade, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats.

Figures published on 28 November 2019, reveal that 1,048 schools have not been visited by an Ofsted inspector since 29 November 2009. Schools rated outstanding by Ofsted in their previous inspection are no longer inspected routinely, unless concerns are raised.

This means that safeguarding or other problems with a school that are not reported to Ofsted can go unnoticed for years. Boris Johnson restated a policy to remove this exemption. His Government first promised to do this two months ago but he has failed to deliver.

New figures show that of the 593 previously outstanding schools that were inspected last academic year, more than half saw their grade drop and 113 were rated ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate’.

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75 academics quit University of Hertfordshire in three years in “Brexit brain drain”

Professor

Seventy five EU academics from University of Hertfordshire have quit in the three years since the Brexit vote, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Twenty nine academics from the EU left University of Hertfordshire in 2018/19, the figures show.

The analysis, based on Freedom of Information responses from 81 universities, shows that across the country 4,014 EU academics have left UK universities in 2018/19.

The figures reveal that uncertainty across Welwyn Hatfield over freedom of movement and international research funding is leading to a “Brexit brain drain”.

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Liberal Democrats ‘not afraid to stand up for what they believe in’

Stop Brexit for a Brighter Future

The Liberal Democrats are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, unlike the other parties during this General Election, says Welwyn Hatfield candidate.

Paul Zukowskyj spoke out after both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell refused to say whether they would back Leave or Remain in a future EU referendum. And it followed Nigel Farage’s comments that much of the Tory manifesto was in the UKIP 2015 manifesto.

This contrasted strongly, he said, with the Liberal Democrats clear and unswerving message to voters to Stop Brexit and leader Jo Swinson’s now standing out as the strongest voice for Remain.

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Lib Dems to fund 34 more police officers in Welwyn Hatfield

Police officers on the beat

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to fund at least 34 police officers across Welwyn Hatfield as part of an extra £1bn nationwide investment into community policing.

This commitment amounts to 20,000 more police officers across England and Wales, enough for an extra two officers per ward. The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.
 
Our plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them. 

Boris Johnson has also sought to blame Labour for the release of Usman Khan, the convicted terrorist who murdered two people on London Bridge on Friday, as the aftermath of the attack became an increasingly politicised election issue.

In an interview on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister said it was “ridiculous” that someone such as Khan should have been freed midway through an earlier sentence, and pledged to change the law, saying: “The reason this killer was out on the streets was because of automatic early release which was brought in by a leftie government.”

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Lib Dem welfare policies would protect the most vulnerable in Welwyn Hatfield

Homeless and vulnerable

The Liberal Democrats have announced a raft of progressive welfare policies which would protect the most vulnerable in our society.

We have set out a package of measures to end rough sleeping within five years, spanning social housing, welfare, local authority funding and legal changes.

We have also pledged to increase the minimum wage by 20 per cent for zero-hour contract employees and reduce child poverty as part of a raft of progressive welfare policies.

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