The Second Economic Storm

Sir Vince Cable predicts a second economic storm driven by Brexit. The former Business Secretary says that a combination of declining consumer confidence, job losses and inflation has the potential to outstrip the economic storm of the previous decade. Cable was famously credited with warning about the 2008 crash.

Sir Vince Cable said:

“For Britain, the economic weather is arguably worse than it was before the credit crunch. The pound has plummeted, which is driving up prices and trapping consumers in a vicious Brexit squeeze.

“Consumer confidence was all that kept the storm clouds away. But with job losses at everywhere from Deutsche Bank to Nestlé, that confidence is going to drain away further.

“The Chancellor clearly has no confidence in the economic strategy of the government, because he knows that leaving the single market and customs union has the potential to devastate the UK economy.”

It is a simple fact that you can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong economy.  The Lib Dems are the only party with a consistent approach to a softer Brexit, one that would leave the UK in the single market, which I fully endorse.

Tax Avoidance Clampdown Dropped from Finance Bill

I was shocked to hear today that the Government has agreed to drop key measures to tackle tax avoidance from the Finance Bill following a deal with the opposition.

These include tougher penalties for tax evasion, changes to prevent people avoiding inheritance tax through offshore trusts and the axing of permanent non-dom status.  All this whilst simultaneously going after the most vulnerable in society, especially the disabled who are all having to submit to tests to assess their eligibility to access PIP.  Inequality in the UK is reaching higher levels than ever and more has to be done to tackle tax avoidance rather than reducing the proposed measures.

I think it is fair to say that many voters will be shocked that measures to crack down on tax avoiders are being quietly dropped.
It seems promises to crack down on tax avoidance after the Panama Paper leaks were nothing but hot air.

This makes a mockery of Theresa May’s claim to be delivering for the many not the few.  Meanwhile Labour, as ever, is failing in its job to hold the Government to account.

General Election 2017

Very pleased to be standing again at GE2017 on June 8th as Prospective MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough constituency.

Of course, Brexit will be the major issue in focus. My stance is for a softer approach to Brexit, one that, in particular, would guarantee UK access to the single market.

But there are wider issues here.

Frankly I don’t think the country can endure another decade of austerity. Under the Conservatives :

  • wages have stagnated, with no real growth since the crash
  • the NHS is being progressively starved of proper funding
  • schools budgets are being cut–nearly all schools in our area will have to cut numbers of teachers by 2019
  • progress towards sustainable energy has stalled and the green agenda seems irrelevant to the Tories

The fact is the Tories like to rule–to be in charge–but have not got a clue about how to govern.

Their reckless approach to a hard Brexit, the NHS, schools and the green agenda is the wrong path for our great country and will bring it to its knees by 2022 if they continue in office.

There is a progressive choice in Harrogate & Knaresborough, if you don’t like the way the Tories are running the country.  Please support us by donating to the campaign now, or signing up to deliver our message.  You can donate here:

Contact me at, follow me on twitter, @flynnhc, and join the Facebook page: Harrogate & Knaresborough Liberal Democrats.

Hope to see you during the campaign!

Why I oppose fracking: the facts

At the moment, I am out on the doorstep most days talking to people in the Pateley Bridge division area where I am standing for election in the North Yorkshire County Council elections, and fracking comes up a lot.  People are concerned that with the second fracking licence in the UK having been granted in Ryedale, North Yorkshire appears to be “open for business” as far as fracking is concerned.

I have had a few people contact me  via email about fracking.  So I thought I would use this blog to expand on why I oppose fracking:

  • Not a long term solution.  We know that oil and gas are finite resources.  What investment that is available to improve and enlarge our energy supply should go to sustainable, clean technologies, such as solar, offshore wind and tidal, etc (we are an island, after all!)
  • Not clean energy.  UK air pollution is linked to 40,000 early deaths a year*.  The sooner we can wean ourselves off the fossil fuels that are contributing to air pollution, the better.
  • Not a good use of money.  Why continue to invest in an energy source that we know is going to run out, when that investment could be going into clean and sustainable energy sources?!  In these straitened times, we must invest money wisely and not throw it away.

If you don’t believe me, listen to what Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and many other devices dependent on electricity, said 86 years ago!

 ”I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy.  What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

Some 86 years later, this Conservative Government still seems to be stuck in the past, reliant on an old and dirty fuel source that we know at some point will run out. It does not make sense to me.

So, let’s look after our countryside, look to the future and invest in sustainable energy!


* According to the Royal College of Physicians.