Nick Clegg - Voters face the biggest political decision of their lives

On the penultimate day of the election campaign, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said “you face the biggest political decision of your life”.

With the polls neck-and-neck and no party likely to hold a majority in parliament, voters face the prospect of a new government lurching to the extreme left, the extreme right, or breaking up the country unless they vote Liberal Democrat to anchor Britain to the centre ground.

Nick Clegg said only the Liberal Democrats will provide “stability, unity and decency” after Polling Day, highlighting six ‘red lines’ that must be agreed to as part of any coalition negotiations in the next government. These key policies will benefit millions of people across the country by creating a stronger economy and fairer society with opportunity for everyone.

The Liberal Democrats outlined six 'red lines' during the election campaign covering: education, the economy, tax, health, public sector pay and the environment:

  1. Invest an extra £2.5bn in education – benefitting 11.5 million pupils aged 2-19
  2. Invest £8bn a year by 2020 in the NHS – benefitting 53.9 million people in England
  3. £2.7bn of pay rises for public sector workers – benefitting 5.4 million workers
  4. Cut taxes by £400 for working people - benefitting 30 million individuals
  5. Introduce a 'stability budget' in the first 50 days – benefitting the entire UK population
  6. Fight climate change and protect nature - benefitting the entire UK population

 

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Elaine Bagshaw supports campaign to make voices of people with a learning disability heard in general election

Today, Elaine Bagshaw has signed up to show their support for Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign.

The campaign is about empowering people with a learning disability and their families to have their voices heard by their local MPs and candidates in the lead up to the May 2015 General Election.

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK but many feel they are not listened to by those in power and the issues they that are important to them – like hate crime, better healthcare and education – are often not talked about.

Elaine Bagshaw said:“People with a learning disability and their families are as much a part of our society as anyone else and deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. I am listening and I hope that many more MPs and potential candidates will do the same by getting on board with Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign.”

Elaine Bagshaw is the latest to confirm support for the campaign and joins over 700 other candidates who have signed-up to say they are listening to the voices of people with a learning disability on the new Hear my voice website: www.hear-my-voice-org-uk

Through the website, people with a learning disability and their families have a space to share their experiences with their local MP and, in return, MPs and candidates can show their support by signing-up to say they are listening.

Jan Tregelles, Mencap’s chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see so many MPs listening to people with a learning disability and their families about the problems they face and the change they want to see in the next Parliament. They are the experts in what matters to them, so prospective candidates should be listening to what they have to say when they are out on the campaign trail.”

Lord Brian Rix, Mencap President, said:

“There are 1.4 million people in the UK with a learning disability and 6 million more family members and carers connected to them. However they often tell us they feel they are not listened to by politicians and subsequently many of the challenges they face go unheard and unresolved. We are asking Members of Parliament and prospective candidates to listen to what people with a learning disability and their families have to say.”

The campaign has also given rise to a Manifesto, which explores the issues that matter most to people with a learning disability and their families and on which they want to see action from the next UK government. These include improving healthcare for people with a learning disability, ending disability hate crime and improving support in education.


Tackling tax avoidance

Liberal Democrats will raise an extra £6 billion a year by tackling tax avoidance, and use it to balance the books by 2017-18.

In Coalition Government, we have made huge progress in clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion already, but there is still a minority of wealthy individuals and companies who actively seek to avoid paying their fair share. This cannot be right. We will take tough action against corporate tax evasion and abusive avoidance strategies.

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Elaine Bagshaw announces £250 carer’s bonus for 1880 carers in Poplar & Limehouse

Liberal Democrats will give people give 1880 carers in Poplar & Limehouse a £250 ‘Carer’s Bonus’ for looking after loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill.

The annual payment would be a boost to an army of unsung heroes who work tirelessly to care for their friends and relatives.

This policy is part of a £150m package to help make the lives of Britain’s 6.5 million carers that bit easier. It forms part of our Disability Manifesto published today.

The measures include:

  • A new Carer’s Passport to allow unpaid carers certain privileges, that could include free hospital parking, free cinema tickets and free gym sessions.

  • Increasing ‘care leave’ by five days and extending the ‘earning limit’ to allow carers to work more without losing their Carer’s Allowance.

  • Create a cross-government Carer’s Champion to ensure carers get a voice at the heart of government.

Elaine Bagshaw said: “Currently1880 adults in Poplar & Limehouse are supporting a family member who is older, disabled or seriously ill.

“Carers are the unsung heroes in our community, quietly going about helping their loved ones without seeking favour or thanks for their kindness.

“But more needs to be done to help carers get the support they deserve – which is why I’m so proud to support our Disability Manifesto. The £250 bonus can make a real difference to carers’ lives.

“If you are a carer worried about Tory cuts making it harder to get support for you and your loved ones, or Labour’s refusal to make any promises on desperately needed NHS funding then only a vote for the Lib Dems will guarantee you a fair pay deal."

 


Statement on Lutfur Rahman verdict

The rule of law has triumphed today and local democracy has been preserved. Local people in Tower Hamlets can now have faith that if corruption and fraud occurs it will be challenged.  The former mayor’s behaviour was a disgrace and completely unacceptable in our Town Hall.  Corruption of any kind must never be tolerated in a democratic society.  As the party of community empowerment we support the right to bring the action and believe that community empowerment has been demonstrated by voters.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Poplar & Limehouse Elaine Bagshaw said: “Community politics and cohesion is central to a liberal society, so as Liberal Democrats we will be working in the by-election that will now happen to unite our community so that we can move forward and build a stronger economy and a fairer society in Tower Hamlets.”

 


No more pay cuts for nurses, teachers & police in Poplar & Limehouse

Public sector workers in Poplar & Limehouse deserve to feel the benefits of the economic recovery by receiving pay increases by at least the rate of inflation, Liberal Democrat Elaine Bagshaw said.

Liberal Democrats in government will ensure employees in the public sector are no longer subject to real term cuts in their pay.

This will guarantee an increase in pay to one in 10 workers in Poplar & Limehouse. 

That’s a minimum pay rise over the next two years of:

  • £350 for a nurse at Mile End Hospital on £25,000
  • £420 for a police officer in the Metropolitan Police on £30,000
  • And nearly £500 for a teacher at George Green’s School on £35,000

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Liberal Democrat PPC Elaine Bagshaw said: “Public sector workers in Poplar & Limehouse have made enough sacrifices. You have done your bit to help get the country back on track.

“That’s why the Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint.

“Under our plans, we will give all public sector workers – from teachers and nurses to social workers and police officers – in Poplar & Limehouse pay rises which at least keep pace with the cost of living every year.

“No more pay freezes or below inflation pay rises. We can do this because with the Liberal Democrats, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“If you are a public sector worker worried Tory cuts threaten your job, or Labour’s refusal to deal with the deficit means another year of pay cuts, then only a vote for Lib Dem will guarantee you a fair pay deal.

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Pension Freedom Day

Today marks the largest overhaul of the pensions system in almost a century, giving people the freedom to take control of their own pension. 

From today, Monday April 6, 300,000 individuals a year with defined contribution pension savings will be able to access them as they wish when they turn 55 – subject to their marginal rate of tax.

This is one of the biggest ever changes to how people access their pensions, removing the effective requirement for many to purchase an annuity.

Announced in the Budget in 2014, these changes were driven by the Liberal Democrat pensions Minister Steve Webb, who has overseen a liberal revolution in the British pensions system. 

 

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Why can I not vote, when I will soon be living with the decisions?

It is only 49 days till the General Election, 49 days till you make your decision, who do you want to represent you locally? And whom do you want to stand for you, on a national level?

As both a Politics student and the Youth Officer for this Borough, I find myself a little excluded from all the debates I see, all the news I read. Why? Well, despite being 16 years old, (old enough to marry, earn the minimum wage, claim benefits or even join the army) and having a love for politics, I cannot vote.

As it stands, the voting age is currently 18 years old, yet the thought behind it doesn’t make sense. As a 16 year old, I am more than aware of how the world works, and how the economy works. I go to college full-time, have a part-time job and, like many of my friends; I do take an interest in politics.

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Elaine Bagshaw, PPC for Poplar & Limehouse supports Cross Cancer Out Campaign

POPLAR & LIMEHOUSE election candidate, Elaine Bagshaw is backing an appeal from Cancer Research UK to help save more lives in the constituency and across the UK. 

Elaine visited the Cancer Research UK exhibition at Canary Wharf last week Friday 13th February 2015, where members of the public were being invited to find out how to join the charity’s General Election campaign - Cross Cancer Out.

Cancer Research UK was highlighting how crucial it is for future MPs to listen to their constituents by putting cancer at the top of their political agenda.

Elaine demonstrated her support by placing a cross on giant letters spelling out ‘CANCER’. 

With predictions showing that now one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, Cancer Research UK says determined political action is urgently needed to help more people survive. 

In the run up to the General Election, the charity is calling on candidates to back measures to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment and are diagnosed early enough for that treatment to make a difference.  

It is an appeal Elaine wholeheartedly supports. She said: “While more people in Poplar & Limehouse will be diagnosed with cancer in the future, there is good news - Cancer Research UK’s work is helping to ensure more men, women and children survive.

“But with more than three people diagnosed with cancer every hour in London and this number set to rise, it’s vital that we detect cancer earlier across the UK and offer all patients the best possible chance of surviving.

It's unacceptable that in Tower Hamlets, fewer patients (79.3%) receive their first treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent GP referral than the English average (85.8%). The waiting time target states that 85% of patients should receive their first treatment for cancer within 62 days. The speed at which patients receive their first treatment can be an indicator of clinical success.  

“I’m backing the Cross Cancer Out campaign, because it’s clear that there’s still much that we can do to beat cancer sooner. The political drive to beat the disease must match the pace of progress in research.”

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Ms Marvel and why it's important to challenge Muslim stereotypes

On the 5th November 2013, Marvel comics made an announcement. This announcement wasn’t just met with response from readers; it even reached the likes of the New York times. Such was the response. You may be asking why, what could cause such an international response to a comic book? Well its pretty simple.

The main character was Muslim.

Kamala Khan was announced to be debuting in Ms. Marvel, taking the mantle from another revolutionary character, Carol Danvers. Danvers is the same person that is set to headline Marvel's first female superhero picture and has changed the way women are seen in comics. Just look at the Carol Corps, a devote group of mostly women who love comics.

Some of the response was simply shocking. Comedian Conan O’Brien claimed that the character would have “so many more special powers than her husband’s other wives”, such is the world we live in. This tweet simply captures what is wrong with the Western world when it comes it Islam. Stereotypes.

Another to harshly target the series was Stephen Colbert, joking that a “Muslim cannot be a superhero”. Others were less careful with their wording and its fair to say that many thought it to be a doomed project. Many fans were willing to try it, praising Marvel for bringing in a realistic story: a young American-Pakistani struggling with religion and identity.

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