End Homophobia and Discrimination in Russia
The Liberal Party deplores the increasing level of vicious attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Russia
The Liberal Party believes that homophobic designed legislation calling to restrict discussion of LGBT rights and lifestyles gives a public sanction to hostility towards such people.
The Liberal Party requests its officers to write to the Russian Ambassador in terms of the above motion.
Assembly unequivocally condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Assembly insists that the use of such weapons by any state or faction is met with the strongest possible international response, including, in some circumstance and with the authority of the United Nations, the use of force.
In the circumstances as they relate to Syria, however, assembly congratulates those Members of the House of Commons who voted against the use of force and thereby provided a breathing space to allow a potentially peaceful resolution to the crisis to be implemented.
Council Tax Bands
The Liberal Party remains committed to the introduction of Land Value Taxation as a means of funding Local Government, however, assembly notes that Council Tax is banded by property value but that there is an upper band which includes anything from a quite modest property to a mansion.
Assembly believes that Council Tax should be continuously banded so that mansion owners and owners of more expensive properties pay more without any need for a mansion tax.
The Liberal Party believes that this measure represents an interim step which can be introduced rapidly and cheaply whilst Land Value Taxation is evaluated and enacted.
This Liberal Party Assembly re-affirms its commitment to greater equality of opportunity in health, education and the inheritance of wealth.
In addition to VAT on private health and school fees in order to improve the NHS and state schools including sporting facilities, relative to private fee-paying provision, assembly re-affirms and clarifies its commitment to a citizens’ inheritance for all 25 year old UK-born UK citizens, or at 18 for those continuing in full time higher or further education, to be financed by and clawed back in due course from the more fortunate by progressive taxation on the cumulative lifetime receipt of capital gifts and inheritance from the previous generation of UK and other citizens.
In order to be fair to adjacent year groups, UK Universal Inheritance at 25 would be increased annually by £1,000 over ten years or more from £1,000 in the first year up to £10,000 or more, roughly 10% of average wealth of every adult and child in the UK. It would be financed by reforming Inheritance Tax, including abolition of current unlimited exemptions, into a 10% Capital Donor Tax on the luxury spending of all giving and bequeathing to UK citizens (40% to non-UK citizens) and introducing in tandem with it a progressive rate Accessions Tax, or Lifetime Unearned Capital Receipts Tax, on larger total lifetime receipts.
In keeping with the far sighted traditional Liberal Party’s Constitutional Preamble calling for liberty, property and security for all, this radical progressive liberal policy would bring about wider home ownership and more business start-ups, would reduce alienation and young adult and young parent poverty and would help university graduates repay loans for tuition fees without burdening those who do not go to university. Taken together, these measures would help bring about a genuine opportunity society and a dynamic and less unequal property owning democracy.
‘Fracking’ and the Extraction of Shale Gas
Assembly notes the enthusiasm of some quarters for the extraction of shale gas by way of fracking.
Assembly however notes the study by Michael Behar looking at the effects of fracking in the Prague area of the Czech Republic. His conclusion is that injecting fluids into the ground can increase the seismicity of a region. Assembly further notes the earth tremors felt in the North West of England following fracking trials in 2011.
Assembly calls for an immediate halt to all fracking operations in the United Kingdom.
This Liberal Party Assembly calls for equality of treatment between Assisted Dying by denial of fluids and other forms of Assisted Dying.
This Assembly also calls for:
1. Adequate funding to ensure that various systems of assisted dying can be investigated and reported upon, with ‘Which?’-style reports being made available to people seeking assisted dying and their advisers.
2. Provision of assisted dying to be made available in the UK.
3. Respect for the needs of the person requiring assistance so that legitimate needs are not overruled by relatives or controllers.
4. Videoing of all interviews and processes to ensure, as far as possible, that nothing untoward is happening without a person’s consent.
5. Adequate funding of medical services so that people are not forced to request assisted dying because of inadequate availability of services.
Safeguards will be required but they should be based on rational requirements rather than mindless obstruction.
Privatisation of the Royal Mail
The Liberal Party opposes the proposal to privatise the Royal Mail
Whilst we value competition to raise customer standards, however we are alarmed that the privatisation of water boards and utility companies have not led to an improvement of service standards. Secondly that the new company will take public assets however the new company will leave the pension fund liability with the tax payer.
We believe the current proposals do not protect the best interests of the tax payer nor provide a stable relationship between Royal Mail delivery and the Post Office Network.
The Following NEC Motions were ratified.
We believe that the arming of rebels in Syria will only intensify the spiral of violence and sectarian divisions in the country and wider Arab World however much we find the Assad dictatorship distasteful, we reiterate the Liberal principle of self determination of nations and believe democracy must evolve driven internally not imposed by armed intervention.
The Cost of Living
We note that the average family has lost approximately £900 pa due to benefit cuts and rising indirect taxes resulting in the UK having a continuing poor growth. The Liberal Party calls for an immediate rise in the tax threshold to £12,000 pa and the immediate abolition of unjustified exemptions to inheritance taxes