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East of England Liberal Democrats

Final Day at the Brighton Conference-Preview

September 11, 2018 9:00 AM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

Annual Conference - Brighton 15-18 September 2018 2018 Conference coverLiberal Democrats - DEMAND BETTER

In the final part of the Federal Conference preview, we take a look at the programme and agenda for the events at Brighton on Tuesday.

DAY FOUR - TUESday 18th September

Last day at Conference, bags are packed, hotels and B&Bs are vacated and everyone prepares for a short agenda culminating in Vince's speech before setting off for home.

The first part of the morning is about Party Business with two Federal Board motions moved by Board members Gordon Lishman on a constitutional requirement to periodically renew the list of Specified Associated Organisations(SAOs) and Associated Organisations (AOs). Gordon Lishman (Lib Dem Conf)Motions call for a list of eight organisations to be renewed, an additional one to be recognised and two to be removed as they cease to exist.

A space has been allocated at this point for two Emergency Motions or topical issue discussions. These are submitted prior to Conference and those selected are then put to a ballot during an early stage in the Conference proceedings.

Lord Newby, Lib Dem Leader in the Lords moves a debate on the distribution of wealth. Noting that wealth is unevenly distributed with 45% of wealth owned by 10% of households and just 9% owned by the bottom 50% the motion Promoting a Fairer Distribution of Wealth calls for a radical reform and changes to the tax system. Lord Newby

With wealth inequality expected to worsen due to stagnant wages and rising debt the Lib Dems policy continues to advocate raising a greater share of tax revenue from wealth. The motion restates the belief that wealth inequality and the concentration of economic power are economically and socially damaging with a growing intergenerational, geographical and class divide. Liberal Democrats embrace the prosperity and innovation generated by the market economy and understand that wealth creation is reliant on the country having good public services and infrastructure and having a healthy, educated labour force.

The proposals in the Party's policy paper call for:

- equalising the tax treatment of income with a greater use of the income tax personal allowance system

- streamlining the taxation of intergenerational transfers including replacing the inheritance tax.

- reforming the current regressive pension tax relief system including a flat rate of 25% on pension contributions and abolishing employee NI payments on those.

- a fairer residential property taxation system including introducing a higher council tax band.

- higher wealth taxation revenues allocated for lower taxes for young people, low earners, investment in infrastructure, education and a Citizens Wealth Fund.

The final Conference motion Demand Better: Liberal Democrat Priorities for a Better Britain is moved by Layla Moran MP. Layla Moran MPOften people struggle to achieve a decent quality of life with work and effort often unrewarded and individuals and companies able to avoid paying their fair share. The motion adds, peoples success is often determined by circumstances of birth, public services are starved of resources, people from diverse backgrounds face unfair barriers and BrexIt consumes everything as long term challenges such as climate change and automation are neglected. The motion places the blame at the door of the Conservative Party for creating and promoting unfair divides and failing to lay foundations for a successful future. The motion calls on the Lib Dems to stand up to power and privilege, believing that people should have the opportunities they need to make the best of their lives. It sets out a six-point policy to:

Demand a better society in which everyone is supported in times of need

Demand better and more integrated health and social care

Demand better education and more resources for schools, teachers, FE and HE

Demand a better environment with clean air, clean water and clean energy

Demand a better economy breaking the cycle of low productivity, low pay, insecure employment

Demand a better Britain, open and engaged with the world.

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP brings the morning proceedings to a conclusion with a keynote speech William Rennie

There is just one eagerly anticipated session to bring the Conference to a conclusion; the Leaders speech. A packed hall will gather with all the usual razzmatazz for an appealing address from the Party Treasurer before welcoming the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable. Having trailed the proposed the vision for a new open movement he will no doubt repeat his recent statement that he is not planning to step down as Leader. Vince Cable twitter page

He said "I still have four clear objectives, which I intend to see through.

I want to ensure we remain the leading voice against Brexit, demanding a People's Vote and winning that argument.

I want to ready the party for any general election emerging out of the Brexit chaos and lead us through it.

I want to lead it to further local election success in May, rebuilding the local government base on which both community politics and parliamentary advances are founded.

And - crucially to the others - I want to begin the process of transforming the Liberal Democrats from an old-style political party into a new, open movement.

That means reports of my imminent departure are wide of the mark and now is certainly not the time for an internal election. There is serious work for our party to do.

To that end, once Brexit is resolved or stopped - which may well take a long time - and if the new rules are agreed, that will be the time to conduct a leadership contest under the new rules.

Until Brexit is resolved? So about 2047, then..."

Vince Cable

Conference Agenda changes:

Vince Cable has recently launched a new paper Leading Change: Proposals to Open Up the Party for consultation. The proposals are to be considered as widely as possible throughout the Party with the first opportunity being a discussion lead by Vince Cable at Conference on Saturday 15th at 1300. This replaces the previously advertised session on a Registered Supporters Scheme which will now be held on Sunday at 18.15.

Finally, we have been advised that the East Suffolk Party amendment on the second homes tax loophole to the Monday morning debate on affordable housing has not been accepted. Another amendment on second homes which does not cover the tax loophole has gone forward. It remains for ESLDs to decide to submit a card to speak on the issue.

Training and the Fringe

The short Fringe programme on Tuesday includes:

The Young Liberals look at Careers in Politics, The local Brighton Hove Lib Dems get a very busy Layla Moran MP and Tom Brake MP join a panel of speakers at the IPPR and The UK in a Changing Europe event to ask what next for Brexit? Tom Brake, from national party web site

There are just a small number of options in the training events programme including: sessions on Donation Law, the Role of Agent and Phone Banking,

Finally, The East of England Region are arranging a Regional meal and 'get together' at Brighton on the Saturday from 7.45pm so we hope to see some of you there. Further details of the event have been published by the Eastern Region and members adivised by email to book in advance.

There is just still time to reserve your place at the Brighton Conference commencing on Saturday - ww.libdems.org.uk/conference

END