The Liberal Democrats are offering the most "credible" spending plans out of the three main parties ahead of the general election, an influential research group has said.
The Lib Dems say stopping Brexit would deliver an extra £10bn a year for public services - we also want to increase all income tax rates by 1% to fund more NHS spending.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson said the our manifesto would involve lower levels of borrowing than under Labour or the Conservatives.
The number of GP practices has fallen to a new record low of 6,867 while the number of qualified GPs has dropped by 339, NHS figures published today have revealed. Meanwhile, the number of EU nationals coming to the UK has also fallen to its lowest level since March 2013, stoking further fears of a winter NHS crisis.
The statistics for September 2019 reveal:
- The number of GP practices in England has fallen to 6,867, a decrease of 270 (3.8%) compared to the previous year and the lowest number since records began in 1995.
- The number of full-time equivalent GPs in England fell to 28,315 in September 2019, down 339 (1.2%) compared to the previous year.
- The amount of GP time available per patient in England has dropped by almost 10% over the past four years, from 60.5 minutes a year in 2015 to just 55.2 a minutes a year in 2019.
And the Office National Statistics’ latest immigration statistics show that the number of EU citizens coming to the UK has fallen to its lowest level since March 2013. Already more than 10,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum, including almost 5,000 nurses.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they will freeze rail fare increases for Welwyn Hatfield commuters and season ticket holders for the next five years, while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.
A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for January 2020 and freeze Welwyn Hatfield commuter fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.
These proposals would save season ticket holders from Welwyn Garden City to London £1.331.74 over the next five years. This policy is expected to cost approximately £1.6 billion.
The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises apply delay repay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.
The release of a document laying out the details of talks involving UK and US officials regarding a post-Brexit trade deal with the NHS on the table has left voters demanding answers to the question ‘is Brexit Britain up for sale?’
Despite repeated denials from Boris Johnson that the NHS is not up for sale, the leaked dossier appears to give the lie to this, with US trade reps saying a no-deal leaves 'all to play for' .
The claims and counter claims about the NHS in this election can be traced all the way back to Boris Johnson’s big red Brexit bus and the now widely discredited claim that leaving the EU would give the NHS £350,000,000 a week.
Try a different Advent calendar this year!
This year, Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats are once again supporting our local food banks through a "Reverse Advent Calendar".
This is a simple way to support those who need a little extra help during the festive period.
Just put aside a box and on each day of Advent add a food item. It's a great way to reflect the true spirit of Christmas giving. Some of our members will be involving the whole family in choosing items to donate.
For full details and more information, please see our Reverse Advent Calendar page.
Find out more
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Hertfordshire to £39,722,041, to help tackle rising levels of crime. This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services, providing young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs.
Under the Conservatives, council spending on youth services has been cut by £300 million - or 40 per cent - since 2015. Knife crime has risen by 80% over the same period, with a record high of 47,500 offences recorded in the year to June 2019. Research has also found the areas with the biggest cuts to youth services have seen some of the biggest increases in knife crime.
Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats will wage war on plastic as part of a raft of policies to tackle pollution and reduce non-recyclable packaging.
The Liberal Democrat policies include:
- Requiring all retailers to reduce the amount of plastics and non-recyclable packaging they use;
- Implementing a deposit return scheme;
- Ending plastic exports abroad by 2030
Following this announcement today, Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat candidate Paul Zukowskyj pledged that he would continue to campaign to reduce single use plastic packaging and push for more environmentally friendly ways to manage waste.
Former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Heseltine, has called on voters to back Lib Dems and put an end to Johnson’s ‘disastrous’ Brexit policy.
In a damning attack on his own Party on Radio 4 this morning, Heseltine said that it was ‘complete nonsense’ to suggest Brexit could be done by Christmas and that he could ‘not vote or support people who are going to make the country poorer or less influential’.
Lord Heseltine joins the growing ranks of political leaders, economic experts and diplomats casting serious doubts over the veracity of the Tories ‘Get Brexit Done’ election slogan.
Thousands of NHS staff have left the UK since the Brexit referendum in 2016, leaving hospitals and GP surgeries at ‘crisis point’ this winter.
More than 10,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum, including almost 5,000 nurses, stoking fears of a winter NHS crisis.
So far this year more than 3,250 EU staff have left the NHS, according to data released under the Freedom of Information Act. The figures are from less than half England’s trusts and cover only 10 months, so the actual figure is likely to be higher. This year alone, 1,116 EU nurses have left.
Compiled by the Liberal Democrats, the data shows 11,600 EU staff have left since the Brexit vote, including 4,783 nurses.
Young people under the age of 30 would be helped into the rental market in Welwyn Hatfield under the Liberal Democrats’ ambitious affordable housing programme to ensure that everyone has access to a safe and secure home.
A Liberal Democrat government will tackle the housing crisis by ensuring that 300,000 new homes are built per year, including 100,000 social homes for rent, and help young people into the rental market. It will build new houses to zero-carbon standards and cut fuel bills through a ten-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all the UK’s buildings.
The party will invest in building 100,000 social homes for rent each year through a £10 billion capital infrastructure investment, as well as establishing a Rent to Own model for social housing and providing government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.