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David Laws defended the Liberal Democrats' flagship Free School Meals policy after reports emerged that some local authorities had been forced to divert funding from other areas to provide the necessary infrastructure to deliver the plans. ... Continue to article
Thanks to a couple of technical problems, some subscribers haven't received this morning's Waugh Room Memo. Here it is in full: Paul Waugh is away. Today’s memo is written by Josh May. A huge day looms as David Cameron fina... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrats will include three measures aimed at tackling child poverty that were blocked by the Conservatives in their next manifesto.
Chair of the Liberal Democrat manifesto group, and Education Minister, David Laws announced that the measures would be focused on reducing relative poverty, reducing gaps in life chances, and reducing entrenched poverty.
In a statement criticising Labour's record on reducing child poverty and lack of willingness in the Conservatives to address the issue, Mr Laws said: “Our changes will change the focus in order to lift young people out of poverty for good by generating real opportunity."
David Laws has put the pressure on George Osborne to raise personal tax allowances in next month's Budget, saying such a move could “end the austerity on household budgets”.
In an interview with Newsnight, the Lib Dem MP followed Simon Hughes and Ed Balls in calling for the tax cuts:
“We have to distinguish between the period of austerity for public spending and for public services, which is clearly going to go on for a period of time, from the austerity that we’ve seen in household budgets… now that we have completed most of the tax increases, now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds - as Nick Clegg has suggested - that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets.”
A group of economists and politicians from all sides have said the eurozone cannot survive in its present form. Writing for the Independent, expert figures including Alistair Darling, David Laws and Ed Balls warn the single currency is doomed without reform.
Liam Fox has joined the calls for tax cuts to be included in the Chancellor’s Budget next month.
Writing for Wednesday’s Financial Times, the former Defence Secretary argues for a reduction in employers’ national insurance contributions across the board, to be paid for by spending reductions.
Dr Fox also acknowledges that Lib Dem calls for an increase in the income tax threshold may be necessary as part of the Coalition agreement. David Laws has this evening reiterated the advantages of such a move, writing in the Guardian that “the case for bringing forward tax cuts is overwhelming”.
Speaking on Newsnight yesterday, the Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury predicted that household incomes would rise for first time in four years if the Coalition cuts taxes for low earners.
“Now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds….that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets and allowing the budgets of most people, the household budgets of most people, to start expanding again from later on this year into next year.”
The Lib Dem confirmed he wanted to fund the move by cutting higher rate pension tax relief.
Nick Clegg has asked David Laws to lead cross-party talks on party funding, continuing the political rehabilitation of the former Cabinet minister. Mr Clegg has proposed talks between the parties on donations, unions and state funding.
Nick Clegg is prepared to oppose what he sees as "arbitrary and vindictive cuts" to the benefits bill next year, the Financial Times reports. He was joined by David Laws, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who said the Coalition should stick with plans to increase benefits by 5.2% in line with inflation. It is feared that cutting the benefits increase would lead to a "significant rise" in poverty in the run-up to the 2015 election.
08/09/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
02/09/2014 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
16/08/2014 on Liberal Democrats Press Release
21/07/2014 on House of Commons
13/06/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
27/05/2014 on Boulton and Co, Sky News
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
1 hour ago on The World at One, BBC Radio 4
2 hours ago on BBC Daily Politics
6 hours ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
2 hours ago
1 hour ago