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Talking Shop
tax question for certainty and that the Lib Dems would seek The Government has been forced by circumstance to make changes
standardised tax rules (but not rates) across Europe. to the way the financial markets are being run. One very noticeable
change to come is the breaking up of RBS and Lloyds into three
Regarding employment, the Lib Dems support the protection of banks to enhance competition. There will also be legally enforceable
employment rights that the EU Social Chapter brought that cover lending commitments to increase business and mortgage lending.
parental leave, European works councils, part-time work, burden of
proof in sex-discrimination cases, fixed term employees, information Labour wants to enhance Britain’s green credentials. The changes
and consultation with employees and equal treatment. The Lib Dems over the years to Vehicle Excise Duty and emissions based car tax
welcomed the signing of the Lisbon Treaty and would work for calculations have changed our buying habits. The Government
greater European integration. brought in the Air Passenger Duty to cut pollution by making air
travel more expensive.
The Lib Dems would put a duty on employers to consult with their
workforce whilst being able to create their own model for Government action in terms of the labour market started in 1997 as
consultation. They don’t support differentiation in the National Labour signed the UK upto the Social Chapter. This was followed by
Minimum and so would equalise the rates for all. The LibDems would the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 and changes
tackle the gender pay gap with changes to women’s rights, give to the law in terms of disability and age discrimination.
flexible working rights to all (not just parents)
More recently, the Labour Government has guaranteed work
With transport, the LibDems would reopen rail lines, add new training for 18-24 year olds who have been unemployed for the
stations and capacity. This would be paid for by a per mile charge on twelve months. At the same time, the Government offer businesses
lorries and the rail franchise holders. For motorists, Vehicle Excise upto £2500 to take on those who were unemployed. The protection
Duty would be abolished and fuel duty reduced but replaced by road for those made redundant in the form of redundancy pay was
pricing. Motorway widening would be stopped. increased to £380 a week. Labour have also, they claim, revitalised
the apprenticeship programme, invested £90 million in 12 employer
Labour (The Government) led skills academies to provide vocational training. And the
With Labour being the party of Government, much of Labour Party Government have introduced the Equality Bill to further equalise
policy is that of the Government’s and is therefore either in place or rights. This though still has to get through Parliament.
on-going.
Transport has not been left untouched by Labour. The Government
The Government, via HM Revenue & Customs, created the Business announced in December 2008 £1 billion extra to both increase rail
Payment Support Service, a service for those that owe taxes to capacity. Labour have also announced £30 million to support a
HMRC to spread payments over a given period of time with minimal Community Infrastructure Fund that will improve transport
cost. There is on-going financial support via the Business Links and connections to new homes.
the ‘Real help with finance now’ scheme which features a number
of programmes including the Trade Credit Insurance scheme which Each of the parties is spewing out reams of policy documents. By
insures a company’s sales with credit insurance; and Government definition only the highlights are have been listed here. If you want
lending through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee which helps to find out more, visit the parties via their websites below.
businesses with a turnover upto £25 million with loans up to £1
million. However, there will be a broadband tax of 50p per month
www.labour.org.uk
for anyone with a fixed line telephone to fund investment in
www.conservatives.org.uk
better broadband.
www.libdems.org.uk
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