Economic recovery wouldn’t be happening without Lib Dems in government, says MP

Local MP, Norman Baker, has welcomed the news that UK economic output rose by 0.8% between July and September, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data builds on a 0.7% GDP rise in the April-June period and is the best quarterly performance since 2010.

A million more people are currently in work compared to early 2010, according to the ONS, and across the UK the number of unemployed people in the UK has dropped by 18,000 in the last three months. These positives can also be seen in Norman’s constituency, where the number of those unemployed has fallen by 283 between September 2012 and September 2013.

Norman has also been contacting local businesses to promote the benefits of apprentices, as part of the Lib Dems’ ‘Million Jobs’ campaign. This followed Norman’s announcement in March that there were 540 apprenticeships in the Lewes constituency for 2011/12 which was a 116% rise since the last year of the Labour government in 2009/10.

Norman says:

“The economic recovery is really good news for hard-pressed local people, but let us be clear this recovery would not be happening without the Lib Dems in government. Firstly by forming a Coalition in 2010 we provided the country with the political stability from which to recover. Secondly, the policies the Lib Dems have enacted have actively aided the recovery. These include:

  • Giving a £700 tax cut to more than 20m working people and lifted 2.7m of the poorest workers out of paying Income Tax altogether
  • Creating a record 1.5m apprenticeships, with 540 apprenticeships made in the Lewes Constituency alone in 2011/12
  • Putting millions of pounds into the Regional Growth Fund for hard-pressed businesses, £4m of which was offered to East Sussex Invest
  • Putting a levy on the banks which is due to raise £2.5bn
  • £600m Local Sustainable Transport Fund, of which £3.7m was awarded to ESCC

Norman adds:

While the Lib Dems and I are doing our bit to anchor Britain in the centre ground and strengthen the economy, we cannot afford to be complacent in the slightest. People are still struggling to pay bills and face a daily grind to improve life for their families. So, the focus must now be on bolstering the economy and making sure this recovery is sustainable.”

“Goodbye Norman, you’ll be a hard act to follow” Robert Jack – Managing Editor of Passenger Transport

Robert Jack the Managing Editor of Passenger Transport has written the following regarding Norman’s move away from the Department for Transport:

 Norman Baker’s promotion to minister of state at the Home Office has caused a bit of a stir in the Westminster Village, with the deputy political editor of the Daily Mirror suggesting that he was a “a human jamming device”, planted there by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg “to disrupt Theresa May’s signal”. Although it didn’t attract the same amount of publicity, his appointment as parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport back in May 2010 also raised eyebrows. However, Baker gained widespread respect during his three years, four months and 22 days at the DfT, and he won over many of those who doubted him initially, Few in the bus industry celebrated his arrival, but they lamented his departure this week.

Of course, his relatively long tenure in office helped him to make an impact. The transport sector sees ministers come and go like  trains at Clapham Junction, and it’s for this reason that Baker was given a special long service award at last year’s UK Bus Awards!

Baker took on the job at a time when money was very tight, but he displayed an ability to sniff out spare funds and siphon them off into a strong vision for the future of travel, and passenger transport was at the very heart of it – delivering seamless door-to-door journeys.

A new benchmark has been set for what the sector expects from its ministers. Goodbye Norman, you’ll be a tough act to follow.


Tim Farron writes… A liberal win on ‘Go Home’ vans

Since I have been President I have worked hard to try and make sure members views are heard in the heart of government.  Banging on ministerial doors to try and make policy after policy better and more liberal.

Over the summer the ‘Go Home’ vans came onto our streets.  At the time I joined Sarah Teather and, oddly, Nigel Farage to oppose them. (Who says politics doesn’t give you strange bedfellows!)

My view was clear both then and now: The vans represented the worst kind of divisive politics and they wouldn’t work.

It is important that our borders are protected and secure, but this policy – driving a van around some of the most diverse communities in London – is not the way to deliver that.

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