Inheritance tax overhaul part of radical Lib Dem plans to tackle wealth inequality

Inheritance tax overhaul part of radical Lib Dem plans to tackle wealth inequality
Liberal Democrats have today set out bold reforms designed to spread opportunity, power and wealth more fairly throughout society and to give everyone a stake in the UK’s economic success.

The party expects these reforms to raise an additional £15 billion per year, though this is likely to grow as the rate of wealth passed down increases in the coming years.

Liberal Democrat members will debate and vote on the proposals at the party’s Autumn Conference in Brighton next week.

Proposals include:
Overhauling inheritance tax – taxing recipients progressively on all large gifts received at the same rates as income from employment, above a generous tax-free lifetime allowance, instead of the current system of levying tax on the value of an estate left behind.
Taxing capital gains and dividends – equalising the tax treatment of wealth and work by taxing capital gains and dividends through the income tax system.
Reforming pension tax relief – introducing a flat rate of relief on pension contributions, thus rebalancing relief towards lower earners; and limiting the tax-free lump sum the wealthiest can withdraw from their pension pots.
Lifelong learning and a “Citizens Wealth Fund” – using the revenues from wealth taxation to invest in public services, fund an ambitious programme of lifelong learning to prepare workers for the future economy, and establish an independent Citizens Wealth Fund to invest on behalf of the country.

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said:
“The bold proposals we have set out today represent a serious and informed response to this challenge. They follow closely on the work of the Resolution Foundation and the IPPR, which have reached similar conclusions on the policies needed to address Britain’s deep economic divides.

“While it is increasingly clear that taxes will have to rise if we are to afford the crucial public services and investment we all rely on, hard-pressed workers should not be the only ones paying up. It is time to put Britain’s wealth to work.”

According to the ONS, 44% of UK wealth is owned by 10% of households, whilst only 9% is owned by the poorest half of the population.

The spokesperson’s paper “Giving Everyone a Stake” can be found here.

NHS Bury consulting on reducing funding for IVF

NHS Bury are asking patients and the public to share their views on proposals to review Bury’s current policy in relation to commissioning In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) services.

The consultation will run for six weeks from Monday 6th August to Sunday 16th September 2018.

Within the consultation document the CCG describes the reasons why it is considering changing its policy on commissioning IVF services, and seeks feedback from local people, stakeholders and health care professionals on a range of options.

An important part of the survey is to offer the opportunity for people to highlight if they feel the CCG has failed to consider something significant before coming to a decision.

IVF is one of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.

NHS Bury CCG is one of only four CCGs in the country that provides IVF fully in line with NICE guidelines, including offering up to three funded cycles.

Bury’s projected spend for IVF in 2018/19 is around £320,000. The majority of CCGs in England offer one funded cycle.

Feedback from the consultation period will help to inform the Governing Body to make a decision on the future provision of IVF in Bury at its meeting on 26th September 2018.  The Governing Body meets in public and will publish the outcome of the consultation on its website, through social media and via the press and media.

How to get involved:

An online survey is available HERE, also available via the CCG website homepage buryccg.nhs.uk and in paper format by calling 0161 253 7636.

Views can be sent to the CCG by letter or e-mail:

  • By letter to: NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, Communications and Engagement Team (IVF consultation) Townside Primary Care Centre, 1 Knowsley Place, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 0SN
  • By e-mail: to buccg.communications@nhs.net

The Liberal Democrat Group on Bury Council has been asked to meet with the CCG to give our views as part of the consultation, so please let us know if there are points you would like us to make (c/o Councillor Tim Pickstone tim@burylibdems.net

Lib Dems Commit to End Rough Sleeping

The Liberal Democrats have become the first major party to commit to ending the “national scandal” of rough sleeping across Britain, including across Greater Manchester.

The latest figures show there were 189 people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester in 2016, many are young people and many believe these figures to be only the tip of the iceberg.

The Liberal Democrats have set out a series of measures to end rough sleeping, including introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority that would put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters.

The news comes as a coalition of homelessness charities, including Centrepoint, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter and St Mungo’s, have called on political parties to commit to end rough sleeping in Britain.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Bury South, Andrew Page, said:
“It is a national scandal that so people are sleeping on the streets in 21st century Britain.

“By increasing support for homelessness prevention and properly funding emergency accommodation, we can end rough sleeping across Greater Manchester and across the country.

“We will ensure our local authority has at least one provider of Housing First services, to allow long-term homeless people to live independently in their own homes.

“The evidence suggests that supporting people and giving them long-term, stable places to stay is far more successful in tackling homelessness than constantly moving them to different temporary accommodation.

“Under this government, homelessness has soared and young people have been stripped of housing benefit, threatening to make matters even worse.