Jo Swinson welcomes the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto for women

Lib Dem proposals for pensions and maternity pay will benefit women

East Dunbartonshire Lib Dem spokesperson, Jo Swinson, has welcomed the new Liberal Democrat manifesto for women.

Amongst the proposals are plans to introduce a fairer Citizen’s Pension, a Maternity Income Guarantee, and free long-term care for the elderly, helping both those in need and their carers.

Speaking at the launch Charles Kennedy MP said “There are areas of public policy which disadvantage women. Perhaps the most glaring of these is pensions. Two million pensioners in Britain currently live below the Government’s own poverty line – two-thirds of whom are women. Pensions are currently calculated on the basis of how many years you have worked. Years spent caring for children are currently ignored when women reach pensionable age. We propose a Citizen’s Pension, based on residency not on contributions.”

Mr. Kennedy also said “Crime and worries about safety on our streets come at the top of women’s concerns too. We would put 10,000 more police officers on the streets and keep them there longer by cutting down on unnecessary paperwork. We would strengthen anti-social behaviour measures so that they not only punish but also tackle the causes of bad behaviour.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Women, Sandra Gidley MP, added “Women make up nearly half the working population, but don’t have the flexibility in the way they work to balance family commitments too. We would offer new mothers the option of receiving a Maternity Income Guarantee equivalent to the minimum wage of £170 per week for the 6 months after the birth of their first child.”

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the East Dunbartonshire constituency said “Women’s votes will be crucial at the next General Election. Women voters are fed up with the tit-for-tat fighting between Labour and the Conservatives, and locally are always the most active in supporting my campaigns for better pensions and a fairer society.”

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