Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shirley Williams happy with Lib Dem wins on NHS reforms

Shirley Williams used an article in the Independent yesterday to express her satisfaction with the changes the Liberal Democrats have brought to bear on Coalition's NHS reforms.

She is satisfied that the changes will reflect the spirit of the motion passed at Spring Conference.

Liberal Democrats, from our party's grassroots to its leadership, can be proud of the influence we have exerted to change the Government's NHS plans. It is clear now that the proposals that will be taken forward are dramatically different to those originally proposed.

This is proof that this party and its members is in a position to exert a strong influence within the coalition. It's clear that these reforms would have gone through unopposed if the Conservatives were governing on their own. No amount of shouting and screaming by the Labour party would have made the first bit of difference. Calm, rational opposition from the Liberal Democrats did.

This is a tangible and welcome example of how we can take the sting out of the Tories.

Of course none of this applies in Scotland, but what we can show is that on welfare reform we've changed some, but not enough yet, of the welfare reforms. The idea that Housing Benefit would be cut by 10% after a year is not happening any more and you can bet your life that's not because of any Tory getting upset about it.

This is not the time, however, for us to pat ourselves on the back and sit down and have a nice up of tea. There are still some elements of welfare reform, particularly as they affect the quality of life of disabled people, that need to be stopped. The medical assessments for disability and sickness related benefits are flawed and unrealistic. There are elements of welfare to work which I think are just plain wrong. We need to calmly collect evidence of bad decisions and use that to make changes.


Robert said...

Pr and political spin.....

Anonymous said...

Please take a look at this in relation to welfare reforms and disabled people and families - http://innervoice2011.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/who-benefits/


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