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  • homeless hero
    Article: Mar 23, 2018

    Commenting on reports today released by the government that show that rough sleeping has risen by a third since 2015, a Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:

    "The homelessness figures revealed today show that the situation is spiralling out of control. In the last two years we have seen the number of rough sleepers sky rocket by one third

  • Facebook
    Article: Mar 23, 2018


    The European Commission has announced it intends to put an interim 3% levy on digital sales revenue of the biggest technology firms, such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

    Many large digital businesses have been accused of avoiding tax by shifting profits through complex structures, including via tax havens where they have little or no physical presence. EU officials reportedly think they will raise £4.3bn a year for member states from around 150 firms.

  • Article: Mar 22, 2018

    New data released today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals that only 6% of Universal Credit claimants in the private rented sector have their rent paid directly to their landlords, compared to 35% in the socially rented sector. This is despite calls by Liberal Democrat DWP spokesperson Stephen Lloyd to make payments to landlords default.

    Lloyd has argued that maintaining the status quo will lead to many of the 1.3 million benefit claimants in the private rented sector being evicted, and potentially made homeless. According to the Residential Landlords Association, 73% of landlords still lack confidence in renting to tenants on Universal Credit due to uncertainty that they will be able to recover rent arrears, while 38% have already experienced UC tenants going into arrears.

    Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat DWP Spokesperson said:

    "Back in January I led a Parliamentary debate calling on the government to make direct payments to private landlords the default option for Universal Credit. Consequently I am deeply disappointed these are still far lower in the private sector than the socially rented sector.

    If this doesn't change, we should expect a spike in evictions by private landlords who are already wary of renting to people on benefits, and a rise in homelessness that local authorities will have to deal with. People on Universal Credit often live in difficult circumstances which can prevent them from paying their rent on time, as soaring rent arrears under UC testify to.

    "And the government cannot argue that this is technically unfeasible, because their DUP friends in Northern Ireland have already figured out how to make payments to landlords the default option. If the Universal Credit 'computer' allows that to happen over there, then why not here?"

  • NHS
    Article: Mar 22, 2018

    Responding to reports that an NHS ombudsman has warned of 'serious failings' in mental health provision, former health minister Norman Lamb said:

    "This disturbing report is further evidence that the mental health system is under impossible strain, with devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

    "Mental health budgets are being trimmed while there remains a chronic shortage of clinical staff - and too many people are suffering harm or tragic loss of life as a result.

    "There is a moral imperative that lessons are learnt from this report. Everybody suffering from mental ill-health deserves access to the best possible care and treatment, and the Government must do what it takes to end the scandalous neglect of these people by ensuring that mental health services are properly funded."

  • Folkestone Triennial 2017 exhit [house]
    Article: Mar 17, 2018

    Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called on the government to delay changes to its Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme.

    This week's Spring Statement revealed that just 10,000 people have opted into a change to stop their receipt of mortgage benefit ending next month according to the Office for Budget Responsibility's Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

    This is only 10% of the anticipated figure.