A quick briefing on today’s Autumn Statement.
Members can find below a range of suggested tweets and useful materials from Lib Dem HQ, with more to follow in the coming week.
Also, our colleagues at the LGA Lib Dem office have prepared a further briefing with a series of useful downloads, which you can find here.
- The signature Lib Dem income tax threshold cut advances to £10,600. For a template press release and regional stats on what this means across the country, see this information circulated by Lib Dem HQ.
- £1 billion from bankers’ fines to fund GPs surgeries and related facilities is likely to have a visible impact in many local communities, in addition to generating some popular headlines. When local investments are detailed, this will be a great opportunity for photos, press letters and other promotion.
- £150 million investment in mental health care and treatment services, adding to the substantial work already done by the party in ensuring equality of treatment on the NHS. For more on Saturday’s Day of Action and useful motions and materials on mental health, see our Blog post here.
Lib Dem HQ Briefing
Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone.
This Autumn Statement shows Liberal Democrats are building a Britain where everyone is given the opportunity to get on in life.
It sticks to our strategy of dealing with the deficit, which allows us to fund key Liberal Democrat policies.
KEY TALKING POINTS
This Autumn Statement is packed full of policies that deliver Lib Dem priorities:
-Help for lower and middle income earners. By increasing the Personal Allowance by a further £100, so that in April it will increase by £600 – giving basic rate taxpayers a tax cut of £120.
-Help for people buying a house. By cutting stamp duty for the majority of homebuyers. It means 98% of purchasers pay the same or less stamp duty – delivering long standing Lib Dem policy from 2007.
The stamp duty paid on the average house price will be £4,500 lower. While those buying a home for £5m will pay £163,750 more.
-Help for apprentices. By abolishing employer National Insurance Contributions for apprentices aged under 25 on earnings up to the upper earnings limit.
This makes it cheaper for employers to take on an apprentice
-Help for people with mental health problems. By providing £150m over five years to transform the support provided to people with eating disorders, such as anorexia.
**SUGGESTED TWEETS at the bottom of this email. INFOGRAPHICS are here**
HOW WE CAN AFFORD THESE POLICIES?
Because of the action we have taken to keep departmental spending under control andclamping down on tax avoidance by multinational companies.
And by ensuring banks make a fair contribution by restricting the losses that they can carry forward.
We have protected our world class health service by providing an extra £3.1bn across the UK for the NHS.
This includes £2bn of additional funding available for frontline NHS services in England in 2015-16.
Our NHS will have the money to deal with an ageing population and increasing demand, providing the funding it needs to deliver Simon Steven’s Five Year Plan.
We will use £1bn of bank foreign exchange fines to transform the way NHS care is provided by removing the boundaries between hospitals and primary care, between health and social care, and between physical and mental health.
THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Our economy is growing because of the hard work of people and businesses throughout Britain.
But our economic plan is the rock on which our recovery is being built – it wouldn’t be happening without the Liberal Democrats.
- The UK currently has the fastest growth among G7 economies.
- There are more people in work than ever before – an increase of 1.7million since May 2010.
- The deficit is forecast to have fallen by a half by the end of 2014-15.
- Wages are starting to increase with total pay growth in September above the rate of inflation.
We are ensuring that this recovery is based on solid long term investment in our economy.
Danny Alexander announced how we are laying the foundations for Britain’s future prosperity by investing in roads, railways, flood defences, and housing.
**For fuller details on infrastructure and flood defence announcements please refer to yesterday’s ‘Top Lines’.**
But the job is not yet finished. The deficit remains too high and productivity too low.
And we have seen in the Eurozone and other major economies, such as Japan, that there remain very real risks in the global economy that the UK is not immune from.
The OBR’s latest in-year forecast indicate that Government borrowing in 2014-15 is £6.3bn lower than last year.
The OBR forecasts that tax receipts will continue to rise across the forecast period, but this year are growing by less than the economy.
Receipts are also growing less quickly than the economy in the near term due to further falls in revenue from North Sea oil and gas.
The challenge is to deliver sustainable long-term growth, improve living standards and maintain our position among the world’s best performing economies, while sticking to the plan on the deficit.
That is why this Autumn Statement provides:
-Support for enterprise. By boosting Vince Cable’s Business Bank by a further £400m.
-Support for businesses. By extending the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief to April 2016, capping the increase in business rates at 2% and providing extra support for the high street by giving a £1,500 discount to retail properties.
-Support for postgraduates. By providing loans for those under 30 wishing to undertake postgraduate taught study.
-Support to local economic growth. By allocating a further £1bn for a second wave of growth deals to support local projects.
-Support for housing. By trialling a radical new delivery model at Northstowe, supporting a new garden city at Bicester and extending the affordable housing investment.
This means that over the next parliament the government will deliver 275,000 affordable homes – more than in any equivalent period in the last 20 years.
LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVES
These last few years have been tough but there is no easy shortcut to tackle our country’s problems.
Labour would like to airbrush away the catastrophic economic mess they left us in.
They want to delay dealing with the deficit. But their “never never” plans means more cuts, over more years.
The Conservatives want to keep on cutting after the books are balanced.
They would make the working age poor bear the brunt of further spending cuts and have announced £7bn worth of tax cuts without saying how they will pay for them.
The only thing they have in common is that neither of the sums add up as a plan that is right for Britain.
THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
We will borrow less than Labour and cut less than the Tories.
We will stick to the plan to deal with the current budget deficit by the end of 2017/18.
But we will do so in a way that is fair by asking the wealthiest to continue to pay their fair share.
It is because there are Liberal Democrats in Government that we have an economic recovery.
And it because there are Liberal Democrats in Government that the recovery will be sustainable and that the repair job will be done fairly.