Crossposted from the Social Liberal Forum social network. The deadline for autumn conference motions is looming (30 June to be precise), so we don't have much time.  But what should the Social Liberal Forum be championing to get onto the agenda?  Here are some ideas:
  • Secondary education - academies and free schools in particular - appears to be a simmering
issue (see John Howson's article on the SLF website).  Should we push for ensuring that the academies system is brought under greater local control and scrutiny?  What else?
  • Higher education: tuitions fees is clearly a big issue.  Is there a way of squaring the circle? Move towards a graduate tax?
  • Wealth taxation: the Tories struck anything even vaguely resembling a wealth tax from the coalition agreement.  This is an area in which the Lib Dems and Tories have a clear difference.  Is now the time to set out a strategy to make it clear we are a distinctive party?
  • The Office of Budget Responsibility: as we spelt out in the SLF letter to Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander, the OBR doesn't currently have monitoring socio-economic inequality written into its terms of reference, despite the Treasury having to consider this under the Equality Act 2010. What's more, despite being formally independent, its members are directly appointed by the Chancellor.  Shouldn't it be subject to a confirmation hearing by the Treasury select committee (or, better yet, appointed by parliament in the same way that the Electoral Commission is)?
  • These are just a handful of ideas from off the top of my head.  Feedback welcome on these - as of course are other ideas.  Add your comments below.
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