Liberal Democrat news
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“These figures are welcome but there is a long way to go. For years Labour and Conservative governments let British manufacturing collapse, the Liberal Democrats are determined to rebuild it in order to drive our economic recovery.
“That’s why we are putting billions of pounds into high-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy. And it’s why we are massively increasing the number of apprenticeships to make sure employers get the skilled workers they need.”
The Government is investing more than £500 million into childcare this year and £100 million through local authorities to create new places to ensure those children eligible right now can benefit from these places.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“From today, if you’re a parent on a low income with a two year old in the family your child will qualify for 15 hours a week of free early years’ education.
“These funded places are focused on helping the families that need them most.”
You can read the full speech on the gov.uk website here.
Next year the Government will be investing £760m to help an additional 130,000 two-year-olds in families on less than £16,190 a year who receive working tax credits.
The number of British bases has reduced over time as the Afghan National Security Forces have taken the lead for security across Helmand Province. The growing capability of Afghan forces has allowed British troops to move from a combat role to one of mentoring and training.
Danny Alexander said:
“I was impressed to see the work that British troops are doing to help Afghan forces to operate by themselves and take on the security challenges facing the Afghan government.
“I have nothing but admiration for the professionalism with which our Armed Forces take on this challenge.
“My time here has shown once again this is a hugely professional Armed Forces that we are proud to have as a country. The job that’s being done here in Afghanistan is first rate and I’ve been hugely impressed by what I’ve seen.”
Despite recent progress in women’s rights in Afghanistan, women still face very significant challenges, from physical violence to psychological abuse. A 2012 survey by the Asia Foundation found that almost half (46%) of those surveyed believed that men should advise or be consulted before a woman votes.
Danny Alexander heard from Afghan women about how they are seeking to overcome these challenges and play an active role in the country’s upcoming elections.
Danny Alexander said:
“To truly rebuild Afghanistan, we have to get women voting and standing for election. Women are the key to building a democratic and safe country. They are the future of Afghanistan. Having taken Afghanistan out of the hands of terrorists, we are now working hard to return it to the people. This extra funding will help women lead the way.”
“Education is a key part of improving the lives of Afghanistan’s women and girls. It is critical to upholding women’s rights and improving their job opportunities. There are no short-term, quick-fix solutions.
“Around six million children regularly attend school. This includes well over two million girls, compared with virtually none under the Taliban. The support which the UK is providing to education and female participation in elections will play a big part in improving the lives of generations of Afghan women and girls.”
The Prime Minister
The Deputy Prime Minister
Secretary William Hague
Secretary Theresa May
Secretary Philip Hammond
Mr Dominic Grieve
Deplores the use of chemical weapons in Syria on 21 August 2013 by the Assad regime, which caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries of Syrian civilians;
Recalls the importance of upholding the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons under international law;
Agrees that a strong humanitarian response is required from the international community and that this may, if necessary, require military action that is legal, proportionate and focused on saving lives by preventing and deterring further use of Syria’s chemical weapons;
Notes the failure of the United Nations Security Council over the last two years to take united action in response to the Syrian crisis;
Notes that the use of chemical weapons is a war crime under customary law and a crime against humanity, and that the principle of humanitarian intervention provides a sound legal basis for taking action;
Notes the wide international support for such a response, including the statement from the United Nations Security Council, to “overcome internal disagreements and take action against those who committed this crime, for which the Syrian regime is responsible”;
Believes, in spite of the difficulties at the United Nations, that a United Nations process must be followed as far as possible to ensure the maximum legitimacy for any such action;
Therefore welcomes the work of the United Nations investigating team currently in Damascus, and whilst noting that the team’s mandate is to confirm whether chemical weapons were used and not to apportion blame, agrees that the United Nations Secretary General should ensure a briefing to the United Nations Security Council immediately upon the completion of the team’s initial mission;
Believes that the United Nations Security Council must have the opportunity immediately to consider that briefing and that every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken, and that before any direct British involvement in such action a further vote of the House of Commons will take place; and
Notes that this resolution relates solely to efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering by deterring use of chemical weapons and does not sanction any action in Syria with wider objectives.
“Fixing the economy was always going to take time, but these upgraded figures are another encouraging sign that the economy is on the mend.
“After wrecking the economy, Labour spent the last years rubbishing the Coalition’s growth plan. They were wrong. Slowly but surely the economy is recovering.
“The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Getting growth going and creating jobs is at the heart of that. We have helped businesses create a million jobs, now we want to help create a million more.”