• UK could credibly scale back Trident – Nick Harvey MP

    In harmony with Lib Dem calls for the UK to step down the ‘nuclear ladder’, the report states that reducing the number of Vanguard submarines and ending Continuous At Sea Deterrence (CASD) is a credible and viable option.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Nick Harvey said:

    “I very much welcome RUSI’s report today. It’s pleasing to see this well-respected and expert organisation coming to this issue with an open mind.

    “The report concludes that a step away from Continuous at-Sea Deterrence (CASD) is a legitimate option, which is quite right: the Lib Dems have long argued that the nuclear status quo is unnecessary and unaffordable.

    “We need to come down the nuclear ladder in a way that is consistent with the world today: we no longer need to be able to fire on Moscow at a moment’s notice. We cannot escape uncertainty, but we have finite defence resources and a Cold War nuclear capability has little relevance to the range of security challenges we’re likely to face in the future.”

  • University application rate for 18-year-olds at a record high – Vince Cable

    The application rate for 18-year-olds in England has increased to its highest ever level of 34.8%. The rate of disadvantaged young people in England has also increased to its highest ever level, rising to 20.7%.
    This means that 18 year olds living in the most disadvantaged areas of England are nearly twice as likely to apply to university than they were 10 years ago increasing from 10.7% in 2004 to 20.7% in 2014.

    Overall the applicant rate is up by 4% to 580,000.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said:

    “Going to university should be accessible to everyone with ability, not the ability to pay. Our reforms were tough but they were right and we are now seeing the fruits of our efforts. Eighteen-year olds from poorer backgrounds are applying at a record rate and are now twice as likely to consider going to university than ten years ago.

    “It’s also good to see an increase in the number of people applying for engineering and technology. These are key to ensuring our country stays ahead of the global competition.

    “It’s clear that young people understand that investing in a degree is an investment for their future. New students do not pay fees upfront, there is more financial support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and everyone will make lower loan repayments once they are in well paid jobs.”

  • Liberal Democrats driving economic recovery – Danny Alexander

    The figures show Britain’s economic growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter in 2013. Growth was up 1.9% in 2013.

    Today’s figures show the economy is growing and that Liberal Democrats in Government have helped to stabilise the economy.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

    “This recovery would not be happening without Liberal Democrats in Government.  These figures are further evidence that the recovery is becoming established. 2013 was the first year since 2007 to see economic growth in all four quarters.

    “Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society. To ensure the recovery is long term and sustainable, we need business to invest now.  UK Plc is sat on over £500bn of cash.

    “2014 needs to be the year of ‘Invest in Britain’. Britain is on the right track and we will not waver from the coalition’s economic plan that is delivering jobs, growth and the right climate for investment.”