As the date for potential strike action draws closer, it’s essential Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt takes meaningful steps to address the legitimate concerns of junior doctors. His recent offer on basic pay does not go nearly far enough.
Under this new deal, junior doctors will work even more unsociable hours in stressful conditions. This means what looks like an 11% pay increase is tantamount to a pay cut.
The Health Secretary has repeatedly refused to offer any assurances that junior doctors working more than 56 hours a week - as many do - will not see their pay cut. The Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, Norman Lamb, has pressed him on this point in both a Parliamentary debate and a letter last week.
This is not just a debate about pay. A commitment that the Care Quality Commission will monitor junior doctors’ working hours is welcome, but the Lib Dems want details of exactly how new safeguards will work so they protect staff and patients effectively.
11th November 2015
The Prime Minister is failing to take the lead in constructing lasting peace, with a strategy geared towards rebuilding Syria. Instead he is obsessing about persuading MPs to vote for counterproductive military action.
More and more bombs are not the answer – you cannot bomb for peace. Adding to the strife of war will simply create a bigger stream of refugees justifiably looking to escape.
The Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, has seen the consequences in Lesvos at first hand: hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes, desperate to find safety.
11th November 2015
Last week, Liberal Democrat party leader Tim Farron said “stuff convention” as he led the fight against Tory tax credit cuts, an assault which would see thousands of working parents in Somerset – many in part-time and seasonal work - lose over £1,000 per year.
On Monday night the Lib Dem Lords forced a vote on a ‘fatal motion’ in the House of Lords which would, had Labour Lords supported it, have stopped the changes dead in their tracks and send the proposals back to the drawing board.
David Cameron and George Osborne both attacked our move, citing the ‘Salisbury Convention’, a tradition which means the House of Lords doesn’t block financial measures.
Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, said he supported the Party’s Lords breaking Parliament’s self-imposed rules, explaining David Cameron had lied to voters when he explicitly ruled out cuts to tax credits in the run up to the General Election, saying “child tax credits we have increased … and they’re not going to fall”.
Wells’ Liberal Democrat spokesperson Tessa Munt said:
“I’m delighted our new Leader, Tim Farron, is using every tool available to him to fight the Tories’ cuts to tax credits. Changes which slash the income of people who are trying really hard to support their families through work are wrong and it’s essential that these changes are reviewed. If this is what has to be done to wake the Tories up, then good – I’m all for it.”