15 questions Theresa May and Michael Fallon must answer

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has laid down 15 questions for the Conservatives to answer on the big issues of national security, schools, health and social care, welfare and their manifesto.

He has attacked them and their leader Theresa May for ‘hiding their real agenda from the public.’

Commenting on the release of the questions, Tim Farron said:

“The Tories seem to think – if we ignore any difficult question – we don’t have to tell the public the truth. If they cannot tell us even the most basic things why should we trust them at all.

“Theresa May seems to be hiding their real agenda from the public.

“The Tories cannot tell us anything about their plans and they are doing it on purpose. They hope to secure a colossal majority and then to take the country for a ride. We cannot let this happen – our schools, hospitals and social care are at risk

“After the debacle on the Dementia Tax, the only policy they gave us detail on, it is no wonder they are trying to hide things from us. They need to come clean and tell us the truth.”

Fifteen questions for the Conservatives:

Security

1. Why are the Conservatives insisting on a Brexit negotiation strategy that will automatically prevent access to the vital EU Schengen Information System – used 16 times a second by UK police forces to track terrorists and criminals?

2. Why has only one individual out of hundreds who have travelled to fight for ISIS in Syria been subject to the Temporary Exclusion Order powers introduced by the Coalition?

3. How will the Conservatives ‘ban encryption’ without weakening internet banking security for millions of British citizens?

Schools

4. How many children will lose their free school lunches?

5. How much money will the Conservatives spend on providing free school breakfasts instead of lunches?

6. Exactly how much money will the Conservatives give to schools to plug the the hole in their budgets, and why is their pledge unfunded?


Health and social care

7. How many people risk losing their house as a result of their social care policy?

8. At what level will losses be capped for people with long-term degenerative conditions like dementia?

9. How will the NHS cope with the loss of 26,000 EU staff who are planning to leave because of Brexit?

A report by the Nuffield Trust has found the NHS could face a bill of almost half a billion pounds if retired British people currently living in other EU countries decide to return to the UK because their access to healthcare abroad is withdrawn after Brexit.

The report also calculates that care homes and home-care agencies could end up as many as 70,000 staff short by 2025/26, if migration of unskilled workers from the EU is halted after Brexit.

Welfare

10. How many people will lose their winter fuel payments?

11. How many lives will be lost as a result?

12. Will the coldest areas of England and Wales be exempted, as Scotland has been?

How will they pay for their manifesto policies?

13. Why should anyone vote for a manifesto without costings?

14. How many billions will be lost to the public finances as a result of the Conservatives’ plan to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands?

15. How much will they raise taxes and national insurance by in order to pay for their pledges?

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Posted in Brexit, Business, Children, Education, Europe, Fairness, General Election, Health Services, Hextable, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Tax, Welfare, Work | Leave a comment

Swanley CAB will shortly move to new central site

Swanley Citizens Advice will shortly get its own dedicated site in the Centre next to Specsavers.

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate Alan Bullion said: “I was delighted to learn on a visit to the CAB offices in Sevenoaks that a new advice centre will open in August for Swanley, once building work is completed. This move from the Hub is long overdue and will be welcomed by many local people in Swanley and Hextable.”

Local White Oak resident and former Lib Dem county council candidate John Owen Jones also welcomed the good news, as he has been having to use the Hub for medical appointments.

action@swanleylibdems.org.uk

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It’s ever so easy to switch! Sevenoaks Lib Dem candidate Alan Bullion benefits from CAB Energy advice session

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Alan Bullion visited Sevenoaks Citizens Advice to have a one-to-one energy advice session with their Energy Champion for the South East, Louise Walford.

Louise can help you to reduce your energy bills by switching supplier, changing tariff and through energy efficiency measures in the home.

The CAB invitation followed the admission on BBC Breakfast (May 9th) by Energy Secretary Greg Clark (Conservative candidate for Tunbridge Wells) that he had not switched.

Mr Clark said: “I haven’t switched, one of the reasons is… it is quite a hassle to do so.”

But Alan Bullion went through the process with Louise and found it both easy and straightforward.

Most of the work of the CAB has been specifically aimed at pensioners, those on low incomes, the disabled, and families with young children. But anyone who wants to reduce their energy bills can benefit from their advice, as Alan has found. Perhaps Greg Clark should pay a visit?

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Solidarity with the people of Manchester

General election campaigning has been suspended following the terrible atrocity in Manchester.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the tragic events of this week.

Alan Bullion, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Sevenoaks and Swanley

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MAY stealth scheme means Sevenoaks and Swanley pensioners will pay more for vital social care – Stop the Tory Dementia Tax Now!

Conservative manifesto plans by Theresa May will mean the average household in Sevenoaks and Swanley could be forced to pay much more of the value of their homes for vital social care. Lib Dem figures show that 9 out of 10 households could be affected by the Tory stealth tax.

These Tory election policy proposals, which would mean that people would be forced to hand over assets worth over £100,000 to pay for social care at home, would have a particularly damaging impact on sufferers of dementia, who have complicated long-term health needs.

With a cap of £200,000, someone receiving ten years of care living in an average-priced home in England would face a bill of £173,000 under the Tory dementia tax.

Local authorities in England are also set to build up £11 billion of debt as a result of Theresa May’s proposed Dementia Tax, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has shown.

The Lib Dems have hit out at Tory plans for a ‘dementia stealth tax’, and are instead calling for a cap of £72,000 to protect people from crippling care costs.

Alan Bullion, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Sevenoaks and Swanley said:

“The Conservative Manifesto shows us that the nasty party is back. Theresa May is betraying the frail and elderly by snatching back their homes when they pass away.

“Many elderly people currently face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs.  Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more Theresa May will snatch away when you die.

“It’s clear that if the Conservatives get their way, as you get old and frail the costs are down to you and you alone. This comes alongside their proposed cap on the Winter Heating allowance, which will compel the elderly to visit shopping centres and libraries to keep warm.

“This wealthy Tory clearly has no clue as to the lives most people live. The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May’s cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for a cap on social care costs of £75,000 to protect people in their old age.”

Under Conservative proposals, for the first time, many people who receive care at home will have their home taken into account, to meet the costs when they die.

This will apply to the almost half a million people who receive domiciliary care in the UK. Figures on the share of the average family home expected to be spent on social care costs by area can be found here, based on calculations provided by Royal London.

The Liberal Democrats in coalition secured a commitment to introduce a cap on care costs from 2016. However this was first delayed by the Conservative government and has now been scrapped.

The Lib Dems have committed in their manifesto to implementing the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission, which would mean a cap on care costs of £72,000.

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have a costed plan to save social care and are the only party who will stand up to Theresa May’s mean-spirited vision for Britain.”

Vote for Alan Bullion your Lib Dem candidate on June 8th. Stop Theresa May’s Tory Dementia Tax in its tracks!

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson, on behalf of Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Lib Dems, all at 44 Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent. 

Posted in Economy, Fairness, General Election, Health Services, Pensions, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Tax, Welfare, Work | Leave a comment

Alan Bullion welcomes Lib Dem plans to triple vital Sevenoaks pupil premium funding, but slams Tory slashing of free school meals

Sevenoaks and Swanley Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Alan Bullion welcomes plans to triple funding for the early years pupil premium, with gives extra cash to nurseries, preschools and school receptions when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year – up from £302 in 2015-16. The Lib Dems originally introduced the Pupil Premium package under the Coalition government.

This forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are announcing in our general election manifesto, with a focus on giving children and young people a brighter future.

These include:

  • Helping people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of ‘Rent to Own’ homes
  • Restoring housing benefit for young people
  • Creating a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds, giving a 66% discount
  • Introducing votes at 16 for elections and referendums across the UK

As well as:

  • Investing almost £7 billion in our schools and colleges
  • Doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships
  • Tripling the early years pupil premium
  • Extending free school meals to all primary school students, as introduced by Nick Clegg. in marked contrast to Tory policy to end these.
  • Tories would penalise up to 1 million poorer families, which Jamie Oliver has rightly described as “a disgrace”. Leon co-founder John Vincent said : “50℅ of the costs of providing school meals are fixed, like employing a cook and a server, so the more children who buy them, the less you have to charge and the better the quality too.”

Alan Bullion commented: “We will give children in the Sevenoaks and Swanley constituency a brighter future, by investing in those from more deprived backgrounds to give them the best possible chance in life.

“This forms part of a package to build a fairer Britain and ensure no child or young person is left behind.

“The Liberal Democrats will provide a strong opposition to this Conservative government and stand up against cuts to local schools, hospitals and regional funding.

“A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a brighter future for people across Sevenoaks and Swanley”.

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson, on behalf of Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Lib Dems, 44 Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Posted in Business, Children, Economy, Education, Europe, Fairness, General Election, Health Services, Sevenoaks, Tax, Welfare, Work | Leave a comment

Save the 402 bus service to Halstead and Knockholt and Sevenoaks Weald

I have received the following message from a frequent user of the 402 service:

“I am extremely worried that Arriva Kent & Sussex Ltd has applied to Transport for London to withdraw route 402 between Bromley and Dunton Green. This serves a number of isolated Kent villages and is a lifeline to residents of Knockholt such as myself, and those of Halstead and Badgers Mount who don’t drive. It is one of only two buses that service Knockholt, and with the train station several miles away, Orpington will be the only centre we can reach if it is axed, via the R5/R10. I am one of a great many residents who depend on it to get to Knockholt station, the PRU hospital, Riverhead Tesco, Sevenoaks, Bromley and elsewhere. Numerous elderly residents depend on it to do their shopping and get to the hospital, and our children rely on it to go to secondary school in Sevenoaks.”

The service to Sevenoaks Weald is also under threat.

I am urging as many passengers as possible to fill in the consultation form before it closes on 18 May.

As a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and someone who regularly uses public transport, I have received many such messages about the 402, and I am fighting hard to try and save this vital lifeline for the local community, and in touch with Arriva and TFL.

I have also sent my feedback to TFL on the form. Let’s all hope we can reverse this short-sighted proposal and score a victory for local people and common sense, and save the 402 service for these villagers.

Dr Alan Bullion

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson, on behalf of Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Lib Dems, 44 Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent.

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Southeastern Pre-Election Fares Shock – what does Michael Fallon have to say to hard-pressed Sevenoaks commuters?

Southeastern have announced that offpeak fares will be increased by 3.4% (or 10p, whichever is the greater) from Sunday. An offpeak day return to London from Sevenoaks will now be £12.10.

This is significantly higher than the Consumer Prices Index which was 2.7% in April, and the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) which was 2.6% in April.

Southeastern state: “We keep fare increases to a minimum and have frozen some fares for the past three years, including advanced (sic) fares which still remain at January 2016 prices”.

So what does the Conservative MP have to say on this pre-election fare surge?

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson on behalf of Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Lib Dems, all at 44 Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent. 

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Lib Dems to put more Sevenoaks and Swanley bobbies on the beat

The Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year.

This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing.

Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2 billion, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman Alan Bullion commented:

“This investment in our police is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May – first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with the most brutal of cuts. These are now cutting into the bone.

“Our police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government has completely betrayed them.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and ensure the police have the resources they need to keep us safe.”

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson for Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Lib Dems, all at Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent. 

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Don’t miss your chance to vote Lib Dem in Sevenoaks and Swanley on June 8

Tim Farron urges young voters to register ASAP

 

Commenting on figures published by the Electoral Reform Society, whose analysis shows the number of school leavers on the electoral roll has dropped by more than a quarter in three years, Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron said:

 “Young people’s wishes have been swept under the rug since the EU referendum when 75% voted to remain. At a time of monumental political change, many feel hurt, ignored and powerless.

“The Liberal Democrats will not allow young people’s pro-European aspirations to go unnoticed. Their priorities must be our priorities. This General Election is a chance to change the direction of our country. Register to vote now and have your say.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Young People, Daisy Cooper added:

“Young people have the largest stake in our future, and they deserve a say over what happens next. The Liberal Democrats will fight for their right to vote on the final Brexit deal.

“It is vital that young people register before the 22nd May deadline. If you want a party that can change Britain’s future vote Liberal Democrats.”

action@sevenoakslibdems.org.uk

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson on behalf of Alan Bullion & Sevenoaks Lib Dems, both at 44 Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent.  

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