In a speech to Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Birmingham on 13 March 2010, Teather said Conservative plans to abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes would be a “total disaster.” She said their housing plans lacked substance, causing them to try and keep housing off the agenda.
She said there was no “bearable” alternative to her party’s aim to invest £1.4bn in bringing 250,000 empty homes back into use.
“The Tories think the only way to solve the housing crisis is to change the law so that it is easier for big developers to stuff vulnerable families in to houses the size of shoe boxes”.
If you abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes, all that is going to happen is that many more people will end up on housing benefit, and many fewer people will be able to work.
Put poor people into worse housing, and make them pay more for it. That’s it. That’s the Tory big idea.”
(Sarah Teather, 13 March 2010 speaking at the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference in Birmingham)
Well that is now also Sarah Teather’s big idea as well.
“A miserable little compromise”
Nick Clegg dismissed the alternative vote (AV) system proposed by the Prime Minister as “a baby step in the right direction”, and said he would not settle for “a miserable little compromise thrashed out by the Labour Party”.
– The Times, 22 April 2010
Chris Huhne said: “Gordon Brown has undergone a deathbed conversion to electoral reform now that defeat is staring him in the face, but the alternative vote does not give voters enough power.”
– Daily Mail, 3rd February, 2010
“Only the Single Transferable Vote in multi-member seats would abolish MPs’ meal tickets for life, and we will fight to amend this proposal to give people a real choice for a more significant change.”
– Lib Dem Press Release, 1st Feb 2010
Now they will be offering a referendum on it, it is no longer a miserable little compromise.
The Coalition of cabinet millionaires just do not have a clue how difficult their intention to treble fees will make going to University for young people from middle and lower income families.
They have benefitted themselves having free higher education and now they want people to pay up to £9,000 a year in fees. If we’re all in this together, every MP who votes for the fee cap rise should pay £27,000 into the higher education system.
THIS WILL RUIN THE LIFE CHANCES OF A GENERATION!
They are intent on tackling the deficit within one Parliamentary term because they say that the economy should not be built on a foundation of debt. But they think it’s ok for young people to be consigned with debts of up to £50,000 and build their whole lives on a foundation of debt. Where is the logic in that?
When they wanted to sell these extreme cuts, the Conservative and Liberal Democrats would turn moist-eyed and say it was “immoral” to “burden the next generation with higher debts.” So as a solution they have introduced a program that will burden the next generation with much higher debts.
Johan Hari, the Independent
During the years when young people have begun to work, are at the prime age to start up families and enter the housing market for the first time, a chunk of their disposable income will be removed from them at the time when they are in most need of it as they will have to deal with their student debt – thereby affecting their future life choices.
The Lib Dem comeback seems to be that it’s all Gordon Brown and the previous Labour Government’s fault. I disagree strongly – but you can blame Gordon Brown all you want… it doesn’t change the fact that Nick Clegg lied.
“We will boost the state pension by immediately restoring the link with earnings growth”.
(Lib Dem manifesto 2010)
Half a year later, pensioners are still waiting.
“We are not putting child benefit into question. I never have and he (Vince Cable) hasn’t either” said Clegg, giving an unequivocal commitment to universalism and claiming that neither he nor Vince Cable had ever suggested anything else.
(Nick Clegg in an interview with Jeremy Paxman on 12 April 2010)
Now many face the prospect of losing their child benefit.
A total of 37 Lib Dem MPs signed an early day motion (EDM) in November 2007 which “actively opposes both the stigmatisation of council housing as housing of last resort and proposals to means test or time-limit secure tenancies”.
(Guardian, 9 August 2010)
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes today warned the Prime Minister that fixed term council tenancy agreements “in no way represent the policy of the coalition”.
Mr Hughes said David Cameron’s ideas for ending “council houses for life” had not been discussed within the coalition and “certainly do not represent the policy of Liberal Democrats”.
(The Independent, 4 August 2010)
Now in Government, the Lib Dems are abandoning what they signed for in Parliament when they were in opposition.
Sarah Teather used her maiden speech on 27 November 2003 to pledge her opposition to all top-up and tuition fees. She even claimed that fees were a particular issue for the Muslim community. She said:
“Top-up and tuition fees are serious issues of concern to my constituents. All the evidence suggests that fear of debt will deter those from lower income families and ethnic minority communities. This is particularly the case for Muslims – a large community in my constituency – whose attitudes to debt are very different. Fundamentally, I believe that this is about whether we want to encourage a world class education system, or a class based education system where students choose universities according to their ability to pay, and universities are judged on the level of their fees”.
(Sarah Teather, 27 November 2003)
“There is no question mark over the policy of the Lib Dems on tuition fees. There is no question about my personal commitment to that policy. The only question is when we can afford to scrap tuition fees”
(Nick Clegg, 12 November 2009)
“The Liberal Democrats are the only major party to have a clear plan to abolish Labour’s tuition fees”
(Nick Clegg, speaking in Oxford, 28 April 2010)
“We will scrap unfair university tuition fees so everyone has the chance to get a degree, regardless of their parents’ income”.
(Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the 2010 General Election).
Now in Government, the Lib Dems will raise tuition fees to unprecedented levels consigning a generation of young people to a lifetime of debt.
“Don’t settle for low politics and broken promises”.
(Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in his introduction to the Lib Dem manifesto 2010)
Now in Government we are seeing a series of broken promises from the Lib Dems who are doing the complete opposite of what they said they stood for furing the 2010election campaign.
Voters have always been cynical about politicians who make extravagant promises only to renege on them a few months later but never in recorded history has a party betrayed every principle it ever stood for as the Liberal Democrats have done since May 6th.
Before the election, the Lib Dems supported Labour in not wishing to cut too fast too soon for fear of a double dip recession. Now they have supported the largest cuts package in the western world. Before the election they described Tory plans to increase VAT as a ‘secret VAT bombshell’ but they have since voted to increase VAT to 20%. Before the election, they gave a commitment to universal child benefit but they have since supported scrapping child benefit for some middle income families but not others. For years, they promised to abolish tuition fees; indeed it was the subject of Sarah Teather’s maiden speech. Now they are in favour of doubling tuition fees. In March this year, Sarah Teather berated the Tories for planning to abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes; now they support new council tenancies at 80% of market rents and the abolition of security of tenure for those tenants. During the election, the Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg described the alternative vote system (AV) as “a miserable little compromise”. By September he was saying that “AV is infinitely fairer than what we have at the moment”.
Brent Council’s Labour Leader, Councillor Ann M John, OBE has compiled a brief list of Lib Dem quotes made in the run up to the May election all of which have been comprehensively disavowed in the five months since the election.
I will be publishing extracts from the list which is entitled ‘The Fib Dems in their own words’ on my blog page over the next few weeks
Councillor Ann John said:
“The Fib Dems are the harlots of British politics. They will say anything and do anything to get into government. In less than six months they have betrayed every policy they fought the election on. They give all politicians a bad name”.