The ultimate Nick Clegg U-Turn

Much has been made on Nick Clegg’s U-Turn after breaking the Lib Dem pledge not to increase tuition fees. Here is a video where Nick Clegg says that he would never join a Conservative Government.

Lib Dem Broken Promises: Votes at 16

NYRA Berkeley Voting Age Protest

Another sensational U-turn from the Liberal Democrats. According to Left Foot Forward (LINK), the Lib Dems have sensationally voted down a Parliamentary amendment to lower the voting age to 16 for the referendum on the voting system, despite promising to give 16-year-olds the vote in their election manifesto.

It seems as though the Lib Dems are hell bent on savaging the rights and the services available for young people.

Before the election, Labour promised a free vote in Parliament on lowering the voting age to 16. The Lib Dems went further and said that they would lower the voting age. The Tories ignored the issue in their election manifesto.

The forthcoming referendum that is expected on changing the way elections are decided presents the best opportunity to lower the voting age. Why waste public resources by raising the issue again and following through a new and costly constitutional amendment process? Surely it would be easier to make these changes to our voting system from the outset.

Our Brent Central MP Sarah Teather has in the past supported lowering the voting age to 16. Her website says, “the Liberal Democrats are the only major political party to support the Votes at Sixteen campaign” and argued that “it would help demonstrate to young people that their opinions are valued and help reconnect with those who may otherwise may never vote. It still seems ludicrous to me that a person can work, get married and join the army in this country before they are allowed to vote” (Source: LINK).

Now in Government and presented with the opportunity to presented with the opportunity to change things for good, Sarah Teather’s options indicate that young people’s opinions are not valuable to her at all and that the Lib Dems have abandoned their pledge to connect and involve young people in the decisions like raising tuition fees, that will affect them.

Lib Dem Broken Promises: VAT

  • Pensioners will be hardest hit by the VAT increase to 20% in the Government’s June Budget
  • Pensioners have not been compensated for the extra costs with increases in tax allowances or benefits.
  • No one voted for this unfair VAT increase. In the election, David Cameron said: “We have absolutely no plans to raise VAT.”
  • The Lib-Dems campaigned against a VAT increase and accused the Conservatives of hiding a secret VAT bombshell.
  • The Tory-Lib-Dem unfair VAT increase to 20% is a broken promise that will hit the poorest hardest.

Source: The Labour Party

Lib Dem Broken Promises: Council Tax

Council Tax will not rise in Brent this election year.

However, lets rewind to 2006. Prior to the local elections, the Brent Liberal Democrats promised to freeze Council Tax. This has not been the case. Band D Council Tax in Brent has for example risen by more than £100.

When it came to their first budget, they raised Council Tax by 4.9%. Since then, they have had two budgets,  and have put Council Tax up on both occasions. In fact, during their three years of office since 2006, they have put the Council Tax up by more than the amount the previous Labour Administration did during its last three years.

This Lib Dem administration must be held accountable.

Lib Dem Broken Promises: PR

Brent Liberal Democrats promised to cut Council spending on publicity. They’ve done the complete opposite. In 2008, they increased spending on publicity by £883,000 in 2008.

However, there is something good that has come out of this broken promise. One thing that people that I have been talking to in Dudden Hill are happy about with the Council is the Brent Magazine publication. It continues to be published, despite the fact that the Brent Lib Dems promised to scrap it.

Lib Dem Broken Promises: Elderly Care Charges

Councillor James Powney’s Blog (LINK) archives what the Lib Dem literature had been saying in Brent with regards to care for the elderly in Brent.

James highlights where the Lib Dems in Brent broke another promise in 2006 with care charges for the elderly. They promised free care charges for the elderly, but instead increased it by 200%.

In an important Parliamentary vote on the Personal Care at Home Bill, Sarah Teather failed to turn up as records show here: LINK

Lib Dem Broken Promise: Dollis Hill House

Dollis Hill House is historically significant building in Brent, and is within Gladstone Park. You may have heard of Chequers, which is the official country residence of the UK Prime Minister. Well, Prime Minister William Gladstone (you may recognise the name from the primary school on Sherrick Green Road), used Dollis Hill House as his country home, and the House was the Chequers of that time.

The House has been subject to multiple arson attacks and a campaign snowballed to save the House.

The Brent Lib Dems promised to save Dollis Hill House. Instead the Council took the easy option and chose to seek to demolish the house, rather than working with English Heritage to find a better solution. Thankfully, and after successful campaigning from the Dollis Hill Residents’ Association, the heritage came through for the House and and after clarity that the Council had not worked hard enough to seek alternative solutions to demolition, the plans to demolish the House have thus far failed.

Another disappointing twist in this saga is that Ken Livingstone is no longer Mayor of London. As Mayor, he pledged financial support to rebuild Dollis Hill House and commitment from Boris Johnson has not been forthcoming.

So Dollis Hill House is another reason to Bring Labour Back on May 6th.

Just back in from the Church End area

I’ve just come back from talking to people in the Church End area with the Labour Action Team and Dawn Butler MP and the level of neglect from the Liberal Democrats is atrocious.

The Lib Dems scrapped the Council provision that offered to take five big items a year from residents free of charge. The Labour Party opposed at the time and still continue to argue strongly on this scrappage and are fighting to bring this service back in.

As feared, dumping of household furniture such as sofa and mattresses has become a common feature on our streets. In the long run, cutting the service has actually increased the costs incurred by the Council in collecting and cleaning up large items.

Parking charges under the Lib Dems have soared through the roof and are due to rise further, despite their election manifesto promises in 2005 not to increase Council Taxes and Parking Charges. Another broken promise from the Lib Dems.

Consequently, the Council is collecting from parking charges. However, where is this money going? the state of the roads in Church End suggests that it definitely is not going back into maintaining and upkeeping the roads.

These are common  examples of the Liberal Democrats increasing taxes but cutting these services and are visible everyday across the whole of Brent and another reason to Bring Labour Back to Brent.