On the evening of 20 July, a newly elected Tim Farron MP led the Liberal Democrats in voting against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and the devastating cuts imposed by the Conservative Budget.
After five years of opposing everything and not being at all constructive, the Labour party leadership decided not to oppose the sort of slash-and-burn measures that the Liberal Democrats, by being in government, had successfully prevented. The number of Labour abstainers was equal to the government majority.
Commenting on some details of the Budget, former Glasgow MSP Robert Brown (Liberal Democrat lead candidate in 2016) writes:
“Not many people have a million pounds to leave to their family – but that’s where the Conservatives have chosen to give a tax break. Meanwhile the cut in working tax credits and the freezing of working age benefits will reduce the living standards of many poorer people.
The changes to ESA mean that new claimants with conditions like depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder will get £30 a week less than at the moment. That is the reality of the Conservative plans.”