Below are some amendments to Conference motions (and one emergency motion) that SLF members may wish to support. Please fill in the relevant form if you wish to support them. Please note: the Social Liberal Forum is not responsible for the content of the amendments and motions here; the views represented are those of the authors alone and hosting them does not necessarily imply endorsement. Jump to:
Amendment to F23: Generating Growth and Jobs in a Time of Austerity - stimulus before further cuts
Amendment to F35: Tackling Inequality at its Roots (Inequality Policy Paper) - wealth taxes not welfare cuts
Amendment to F44: Decent Homes for All (Housing Policy Paper) - site-valued Vacant Land Tax
Amendment to F23: Generating Growth and Jobs in a Time of Prosperity - green investment now
Emergency Motion: Making Welfare to Work Fair and Effective
After “wealth” in section 5 on line 52, change the full stop to a comma and add: “starting with an annual Mansion Tax on the excess value of residential properties over £2million as a first step towards wealth taxation designed to reduce inequality."at line 19, add new A and re-order:'e) giving local authorities the power to incentivise the development of under-used and vacant developable land, particularly in urban areas, through a Vacant Land Tax on a site-value basis, levied no sooner than twelve months after planning consent has been granted.'Add at end of line 21: ; in particular, conference condemns the repeated attempts by the Chancellor to inhibit growth in renewable energy, currently one of the UK’s most successful industries. In lines 31–32, delete (a) and replace with: (a) Expanding the Green Investment Bank’s scale and remit as fast as possible, including relaxing the restriction on its ability to borrow before total public sector debt begins to fall. Add after line 34: (c) Scrapping the review in 2014 of the fourth carbon budget target imposed by the Chancellor, thereby establishing long-term certainty for investors in low-carbon technology and infrastructure.Conference: 1) Notes the judgement that Miss Reilly was incorrectly informed that her voluntary placement was mandatory. Conference also notes that she’d been led to believe that her placement would lead to an interview for paid work that didn’t materialise. 2) Accepts the judgment that it is not illegal for the government to leave DWP internal policy inaccessible to the public. 3) Agrees with the judgment that mandatory work schemes are not slavery or a breach of human rights, but notes that they involve jobseekers being made to work for less than minimum wage. Conference believes: 1) It is important that jobseekers are able to make an informed choice before participating on a voluntary work scheme to enable them to ensure the scheme is suitable for their needs. 2) It is essential in an open and accountable society that citizens have access to policy that affects them, both for personal reference and for scrutiny. 3) For the schemes to provide a positive experience, they must be perceived as fair, and reminds the coalition of the commitment to the minimum wage in the coalition agreement. Conference calls on the Coalition to: 1. Make all DWP policy available to the public for both reference and scrutiny. 2. Ensure jobseekers are properly informed before taking up a voluntary placement. Job Centre Plus must ensure the jobseeker has read and signed a form that informs them of the following: a) An accurate idea of what to expect from the placement. b) Their right to refuse and/or withdraw from the placement. c) How many jobs the company will be offering at the end of the placement and how many other jobseekers will be competing for these jobs. 3. Ensure that any jobseekers given a mandatory work placement are remunerated at the least as if they had worked those hours at a minimum wage. This can be done by: a) Limiting their hours to match the sum of their unemployment benefits b) Having their unemployment benefits topped up, either by the company benefiting from their work or by the state, to at least match the minimum wage rate for their hours worked. c) Ensuring that any benefits that would still be claimable in employment (e.g. Child Benefit) are given in addition, in the same way they would if the jobseeker was working in an actual job. 4. Ensure that the protections above apply to all jobseekers in all programmes, including those under the care of a subcontracted private company (such as those participating in the Work Programme)At line 42, insert: "(d) Robustly implementing the public sector equality duties under the Equality Act 2010 through processes and mechanisms to drive continuous improvements in public bodies' responsiveness to the needs of disadvantaged groups and individuals, to cover each equality strand including the duty to address socio-economic disadvantage, and ensure that the public have the tools to hold public authorities to account"At line 43, insert:
UPDATE, 16:00 08/09/12
We draw your attention to three further amendments, as listed below:
Amendment to F35: Tackling Inequality at its Roots (Inequality Policy Paper) - mansion taxThe following amendment has been drafted by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay and is designed to reaffirm the Party's commitment to taxing high-value property as a form of wealth tax. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
Amendment to F23: Generating Growth and Jobs in a Time of Austerity - stimulus before further cutsThe following amendment has been drafted by Prateek Buch of the SLF and is designed to commit the Lib Dems to prioritising measures that promote growth and jobs over further spending cuts, which would damage the economy. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
A. The depressed state of the economy and the further deterioration of the public finances caused by it; the failure of spending cuts allied to monetary easing to address either sufficiently; and by the prospect of the Treasury planning yet more public spending cuts which will be counter-productive, particularly if capital investment and welfare spending are targeted again.
"at line 27, insert new 1 and re-number:
1. Prioritise measures to boost demand through public and private investment, using all tools available to government including the flexibility in its fiscal mandate, over further spending cuts beyond those already in place that would suppress confidence and demand yet further."
Amendment to F35: Tackling Inequality at its Roots (Inequality Policy Paper) - wealth taxes not welfare cutsThis amendment, drafted by SLF Council member Gareth Epps, is designed to emphasise the value of wealth taxes in their own right, and not as a trade-off with unneccesary and unfair further cuts to welfare spending. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
"After line 52, insert:
'Conference further believes that wealth taxes are an appropriate response to widening inequality in themselves, and calls on the Government to implement wealth taxes in their own right and not as a trade-off for further self-defeating cuts to welfare spending.' "
Amendment to F44: Decent Homes for All (Housing Policy Paper) - site-valued Vacant Land TaxThe following amendment has been drafted by Gareth Epps and Tony Vickers, and has the support of Newbury Local Party and ALTER - it is designed to bolster the call to build more homes. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
Amendment to F23: Generating Growth and Jobs in a Time of Prosperity - green investment nowThe following amendment, drafted by FPC member and former special adviser Duncan Brack, criticises the inhibition of green investment by some Conservatives and seeks to make this motion consistent with the Sustainable Prosperity motion (F25) in removing the restrictions on borrowing by the Green Investment Bank. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
Emergency Motion: Making Welfare to Work Fair and EffectiveThis emergency motion, drafted by SLF member Daniel Henry, is to establish the Liberal Democrat response to the High Court judgment on Reilly & Wilson V DWP (PDF), where Public Interest lawyers challenged the welfare to work schemes. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
Amendment to F19: Equal Citizenship – Supporting Independence: for Sick and Disabled People: resist welfare cuts
This amendment is drafted by James Sandbach. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
After line 73, insert:
"10. Liberal Democrats in Government to resist, in all spending review decisions that take place within the remainder of this Parliament, any further cuts to welfare expenditure which may fall disproportionately on the incomes, independence and well-being of sick and disabled people."
Amendment to F35: Tackling Inequality at its Roots (Inequality Policy Paper) - implementing equality dutiesThis amendment is drafted by James Sandbach and relates to the implementation of the public sector equality duties under the Equality Act. If you are a voting Conference representative and wish to support this motion, please fill out the form below.
Amendment to F21 Developing a Future – Policies for Science and ResearchThis amendment is drafted by Prateek Buch and seeks to commit Lib Dems in government to conducting randomised controlled trials of public policy according to the framework set out in a recent Cabinet Office paper.
"8. The Liberal Democrat commitment to basing public policy on evidence of the highest standard is strengthened by endorsing the framework for using randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of public policy published in the Cabinet Office paper 'Test Learn Adapt.'"
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