Recap: Monday at Lib Dem conference

Key points

  • Business Secretary Vince Cable attacked the Conservatives over Europe and social policy
  • Party leader Nick Clegg told delegates the UK was getting used to coalition government
  • The leadership won the vote on its economic motion, defeating attempts to have it modified

Live text


  • Aiden James 
  • Justin Parkinson 
  • Sean Clare 

Last updated 18 September 2013


And that vote concludes our coverage of the third day of the Lib Dem conference in Glasgow. Please join us again on Tuesday.


Delegates have just voted overwhelmingly to review the party's policy on the "bedroom tax" or "spare room subsidy".


Liverpool Lib Dem councillor Richard Kemp reminds delegates it was Labour that introduced the under-occupancy penalty for tenants in the private sector. The so-called "bedroom tax" - which extends the penalty to social rented sector - is "reprehensible" and "evil".


Greg Mulholland MP tells conference that the welfare system the coalition inherited "was failing to spend taxpayers' money properly".


Robert Brown from Rutherglen refers to recent claims by Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams that the under-occupancy penalty was a mistake. "It's wasn't a mistake. It was a disaster," he says to applause from the hall. There is more applause when he says: "I did not join the Liberal Democrats to cut the living standards and incomes of the poor."


Suzanne Fletcher from Stockton is the latest speaker to attack the under-occupancy penalty. She doesn't use the coalition term for it: "spare room subsidy". She prefers "bedroom tax", a term favoured by many opponents.

TWEET 1750

Conservative activist Johnny Cope

tweets: "Wasn't so long ago Vince Cable was one of the most popular politicians in the country. Now he just comes across as an angry old man"


A pre-approved amendment to the motion credits the Lib Dems with "securing an additional £35m fund to help claimants affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy who need extra support".


On the under-occupancy penalty, Ms Porksen claims that she knows of someone who received notice that their housing benefit would be cut one week after their mother died. "What some people might call efficiency, I call inhuman," she says angrily.


Julie Porksen from Wansbeck is moving the motion on a new policy on entitlement to housing benefit. Speaking about room sizes in some accommodation, she says standards of living have gone "forwards for battery hens but backwards for people".