Weekly political news round up – 10th October 2014

October 10, 2014 in News by Whitehouse

Around the sector

Baroness Hughes has stood down as Labour frontbench spokesperson on Children and Education in the House of Lords; she has been replaced by education whip Baroness Oona King.

Forthcoming events

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are set to return on 13th October, following the end of party conference season.

Overview of the Liberal Democrat party conference

The Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg has delivered his keynote speech at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Glasgow; the final conference before the general election in May 2015.

Mr Clegg outlined the Liberal Democrat’s plans for the next Parliament in a one hour long speech covering a wide range of policies including tax, education, energy and mental health. A key focus of his speech was on mental health policy. Mr Clegg said that the second class status given to mental health in the NHS threatens “the opportunities available to hundreds and thousands of our fellow citizens.” He pledged that the Liberal Democrats will introduce national waiting times for patients with mental health conditions so that a person experiencing psychosis for the first time will be seen within two weeks.

Mr Clegg also announced that the Liberal Democrats will protect the NHS budget in real terms, as well as raise an extra £1bn every year, by ending three different tax breaks which benefit the highest earners.

On education, Mr Clegg highlighted the party’s achievements in government – notably the Pupil Premium – and reiterated plans to make teacher qualification mandatory and expand free school meals to all pupils of primary age.

On tax, Mr Clegg said the Liberal Democrat’s priority was to raise the personal allowance threshold to £12,500 from 10,500. He also highlighted the party’s success in raising the personal allowance from just under £6,500 to £10,500 in the last Parliament.