May 12, 2013 Comments Off
Lib Dems in Reading welcomed the Queen’s speech, which has a package of measures on pensions, care for the elderly, and green energy, to help create a stronger economy and fairer society.
Especially welcome in Reading are proposals to streamline the way anti-social behaviour is tackled, including giving victims a bigger say in how the Police deal with this issue. This is an issue that blights the lives of many local residents, and anything that leads to a faster, more effective response will make a difference.
Pensions will be made simpler and fairer by paying a decent flat rate of £144 for a full contributions history and relieving thousands of our pensioners from the need to apply for means-tested benefits after a lifetime of full employment.
The government will introduce a cap on the cost of social care (expected to be around £70,000) so that pensioners are not forced to sell their homes to pay for care. This is a real problem in areas like Tilehurst where there is a large elderly population. It will also provide protection to people whose care provider goes out of business and give everyone a legal entitlement to a personal care budget, which they can receive as a direct payment to spend as they wish.
The government will reform the energy market to ensure secure, clean and affordable energy. We will inevitably be paying more for energy in the future but some of that money will be spent on providing green, sustainable energy.
And one big thing not in the Queen’s speech
The Lib Dems have very effectively blocked the Tories Communications Data Bill which would have given government the right to see all the email you have sent or received plus all the websites you have visited over the last year. A veritable snoopers charter has been nipped in the bud by Lib Dem activists including our own campaigning Dr Jenny Woods.