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


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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Tower Hamlets needs action on affordable housing

In Tower Hamlets we are seeing a real class divide as the rich move up into the sky in their luxury high-rise apartments and penthouses literally leaving the poor below them, struggling in inadequate homes on the ground.

Housing, particularly the need for high quality affordable housing for a range of family sizes from one to many, is one of the top issues facing London and the country in the run up to this year's general election.

The Tories' Nineteen Eighties policy of selling off council housing (Right to Buy), which Labour failed to address or reverse in their thirteen years in office has led to chronic shortages of places for people on lower or even middle incomes to live.

A new report from Labour, now that they are no longer in charge, points out that council homes are being sold off faster than they are being replaced.


Labour's London Assembly Member John Biggs has called for urgent action on housing.

At the same time, controversial Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has announced the building of 3500 new affordable homes as part of the redevelopment of the Royal London hospital site at Whitechapel, a scheme Labour's Mr Biggs has criticised and which was dubbed "Lutfur's palace" and a "vanity project" in the Evening Standard.


Under the Coalition, Liberal Democrat policies have seen more than 70,000 empty houses brought back into use, and the number of affordable homes nationwide increased by 190,000 (compared to a fall of 421,000 under Labour).

However, record low interest rates and George Osborne's Help to Buy scheme have meant that the better off can buy up the limited supply of homes, which has continued to drive up house prices, and this has forced rents to rise rapidly too.

Liberal Democrats would like to see Councils have the power to suspend Right to Buy in areas like Tower Hamlets where there are acute housing shortages, while in the long term we want to increase the number of new homes being built to 300,000 a year by giving new powers to Local Authorities and creating a national Housing Investment Bank to channel funds into construction, with the added benefit of creating new jobs and apprenticeships.

We would hope that Labour would be more consistent in their approach to creating new affordable homes, and call on all parties to work together to get London's house building back on track.


Why I'm involved in politics

In 2014, I made the decision to join the Liberal Democrats.

I am only sixteen years old yet I made the choice to join a political party. I was joining the 1% of the population. You may ask, why did I decide to do this? Politics is traditionally seen as dull and uninteresting. To some extent, it can be argued that this is a fair perspective.

However, as Plato said, the price of political apathy is to suffer from the evil. Many people like to complain about the government and their decisions, how their lives are effected. Yet most of these people will never vote. They refuse to get involved, and they allow their lives to be controlled.

The future of our generation starts today, everyday decisions are being made and policies being implemented. All of which will soon effect my life. It is easy to sit and complain about the state, however, it’s easier to stand up and fight for what you believe in. The future of our country lies within our reach, we have the ability to bring the future that we deserve and want in Britain.

By being involved, we can bring the difference and change that we need and want, not what is forced onto us.

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Elaine Bagshaw and Teena Lashmore to fight Poplar & Limehouse and Bethnal Green and Bow for Lib Dems

Elaine Bagshaw and Teena Lashmore won the nominations on Thursday night to be the Liberal Democrat candidates for Poplar & Limehouse and Bethnal Green & Bow at the May 2015 General Election.

Elaine Bagshaw, 29, a project manager at the Financial Conduct Authority, living in Poplar follows in the footsteps of Jonathan Fryer who gained 5,209votes in 2010.

Elaine has worked in the constituency for over six years at the Financial Conduct Authority, and has lived in Poplar for just over two years. She is passionate about increasing the amount of affordable homes in the area, and as the first in her family to go to University is an advocate for the transformative power of education.

Teena Lashmore, from the neighbouring borough of Hackney works in resettling and transforming the lives of those release from prisons and detention centres, follows Ajmal Masroor who gained 10,210 votes in 2010.

Teena works in offices across London, including Tower Hamlets, and is passionate about reforming our criminal justice system. She is currently finishing her PhD, exploring how justice can be managed so that corporations have to do more to invest in crime prevention, rather than constantly taking money out of our communities.


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