Videos about Tahir MAHER and what Tahir has done and is doing in the party

I have two link to YouTube videos one discussing who I am and the other about what I have done in the party. I felt it would be a better way to express these points via video (although I have also summarised both videos below for those who don’t want to see the video).

The first video is “About Tahir MAHER” to see this video please click on the URL below and it will open the video in YouTube:

About Tahir Maher

The second video is about what I have done and am currently doing in the our party. Again click on the url below and it will open the video in YouTube:

Party Activity

Tahir Maher






About Tahir MAHER

Cllr.  Tahir  MAHER

  • A proud Lib Dem councillor for 6 years who has also been a Group Leader on the Council;
  • A regional Vice-chair;
  • An elected Chair of the Regional Policy committee for three consecutive years and Chair of the regional Local Party’s Committee for two years;
  • A member of the Tax Working Group looking at Lib Dem tax policy for the next general election;
  • A member of the a membership working group looking at how to improve membership and membership experience;
  • Member of the English Party Executive for three years and English Council;
  • I  am the current Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrat observer representative on the Federal Policy Committee; 
  • A Local party Chair for two years and a Branch Chair for three years;
  • Chair of a local Charity;
  • A founder member of another local charity “Arthritis Matters”;
  • A Trustee of another charity that supports disabled children;
  • With a group of friends we also feed the homeless in Reading, once a week;
  • A qualified Accountant with a Post Graduate in IT;
  • I have been the Head of Finance for Imperial Cancer Research Fund and am currently a Programme Change Manager
  • I have been married for 24 years and have two grown sons and a cat.

Dear friends,
We should not be afraid to be radical and challenging because this underpins our dynamism and it’s this that carried us into government and helped us to win local elections.

Tahir Maher

Your Lib Dem Voice for Loddon

Syria – An Opinion



I live near the Forbury Gardens in Reading where the Maiwand Lion statue was erected in 1886 to commemorate the loss of 280 soldiers from the 66th Royal Berkshire Regiment at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan on 27th July 1880. There is talk of a memorial for our brave soldiers who fought and have lost their lives in the current campaign in Helmand. In my opinion, when the Americans and the British leave, Karzai won’t be too far behind and Mullah Omar will be reinstated as leader. In recent years we also have the experience of the war in Iraq which has left the country a wreck. There is condemnation and polarisation of opinion towards the west by the Muslims for little gain. What was it all for?

Currently, the real issue in the Middle East is the fight between the Shia and Sunni Muslims for regional dominance. Syria is a case in point – Sunnis (backed by Sunni Saudi) are being ruled by a minority Shia Alawites (backed by Shia Iran). This is a proxy war being fought at the expense of Syrian people.

After the recent chemical weapons attack, likely perpetrated by the Assad regime, the moral case for any attack on Syria seems clear. A limited, quick and surgical attack on military targets to achieve a very specific objective will appeal too many. But how many times have we heard that?

Syria is not like Libya. Syria is a significant military power that has access to sophisticated military arsenal and more available from Iran and Russia. We may well be surprised when we attack from the air that this time we are attacked back. Imagine if they launch an attack on our bases in Cyprus (100 miles away) or to an aircraft carrier leading the air strikes and they are successful. Where does that leave the western allies other than to escalation this skirmish to effectively a war. Syria isn’t as weak as Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya and they have strong backers who are willing to support them.

We cannot isolate a specific or short term attack on Syria no matter how abhorrent the actions of the regime. It should be clear from the lessons of Helmand and Iraq that there is no such thing as a limited strike. There are long term repercussions which often lead these countries to lean towards extremism rather than pluralist democracy.

As a conscientious objector I cannot advocate a limited strike. I also cannot abide the pain that Syrian people are experiencing. Geopolitics today gives alternatives to countries from America and Europe to Russia, China and other economically strong non-aligned countries.

We have to learn that military action should really be the actual last resort – not a talked up last resort. We can help the Syrian people by isolating parts of the country to offer them genuine refuge (this is where a strong military guard action maybe required); work with Turkey to secure the tent cities that are growing and ensure people in them are safe; use the EC and American economic power to significantly impede trade with countries who support Syria (trifling punitive sanctions have been used in the past but rarely have we in the west applied comprehensive widespread economic sanctions); confiscate and freeze the funds and investments held by senior Syrian leaders in the west; if another chemical attack is used expel Syria from international institutions so they are truly isolated and blockade their ability to trade. That will hurt Syrian people too but it’s a better alternative than military action.

There are other alternatives to a limited strike that will lead, in my opinion, to a larger involvement. We can make a stand; we can help the people of Syria and we can do that without using a military strike.

Cllr. Tahir Maher

A Million Jobs …and counting!


Since 2010, more than one million jobs have been created in the private sector. We are proud of the role that the Liberal Democrats have played in directing government investment into job creation and training.

We are now focusing our efforts on improving this record and delivering a million more new jobs as we continue to build a stronger economy for the future.

Jobs for Young People

The coalition government has already delivered 1.2 million apprenticeships for young people since 2010. The Liberal Democrats are now campaigning to double the number of apprenticeships being offered.

Jobs in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the key to a sustainable economic recovery in Britain. Under Vince Cable at the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills, we have directed an extra investment of over £5.5 billion into high-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy.

Jobs across the UK

Liberal Democrats have long argued that we need to rebalance the economy away from our reliance on London and South East England. That is why we have also set up the £2.6 billion Regional Growth Fund initiative, to help create businesses, jobs and economic recovery in every part of the country.

Jobs Building Britain

The coalition is using £15.3 billion of investment into our infrastructure to build a stronger economy for the future and to create thousands of jobs in construction right now.
For more information on the Liberal Democrats’ record in creating one million new jobs, and to find out how many new jobs are being created near you, visit the Million Jobs website:

Choose Life

The spring conference at Brighton 2012 proposed a motion (F20) on Medically Assisted Dying which was carried and I was the only one who spoke against it. Now Lord Falconer has introduced a Bill on Assisted Dying for which I feel compelled to make a case against. On the wall at Lib Dem head office it say “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity“.The motion and proposed Bill are certainly progressive and have merit in their own right but I believe they are not of Liberal creed.

The section of society who may be affected by this Bill, I believe, will fall foul of “…enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity“.

Euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands decades ago. Government-ordered surveys were carried out and clearly showed that non-voluntary life-termination could be as high as 1,000 people a year; this was over and above drugs given to explicitly end life (although the Government tried to gloss over these facts). The report also stated that non-voluntary life-termination were difficult to prevent.

The law permitting assisted suicide (though not euthanasia) in Oregon was passed in 1997. The state has not carried out proper surveys but the anecdotal evidence shows that patients are being pressured to die or been undertreated on the grounds they have an alternative – a suicide prescription. A Doctors confirmation is all that’s needed for such deaths; there is no independent control on the Doctors involvement. Also over time the State has become less keen to fund essential medical service in response to this change in the Law (see Assisted-suicide requests based on financial concerns).

There is a misconception that scores of people from Britain are going to Switzerland for medically assisted suicides. In 2012 Ludwig Minelli founder of Dignitas said that there were 1000 people who they assisted and well over 50% were from Germany (shockingly a growing number of people, across different age groups, approached Dignitas wanting to end their life because they didn’t wish to live any longer).

Medically Assisted Dying or assistance for those who have less than six months to live I believe with the best will in the world and tight procedures will result in pressure for this quick, cheap and easy alternative to be pushed upon a section of vulnerable members of our society (especially the elderly who are already disadvantaged in terminal care will suffer further if assisted dying is seen as a ‘quick fix’ for some). This is where I believe in time we will fail to uphold our values to ensure that there is no one“…enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity“ and the evidence from the Netherlands would suggest that in time a choice does becomes the preference.

My instinct is to ask you to always choose Life.

Cllr. Tahir Maher

Payday Loans – A Never ending debt

South Central Region have discussed (or is it more appropriate to say disgusted) and passed a motion against Pay Day Loans at our Regional conference in the autumn of 2012. The notion of such loans is valid: provide a small short term loan for those in need to help them through immediate financial hardship. Unfortunately, exploitation is what we get.

Here are some facts about these loans:

• Which estimates over 800,000 UK households have taken out payday loans;

• The Consumer Credit Counselling Service says over 2,000 of their clients in 2012 have had five or more payday loans, compared to 716 for 2009;

• Some payday lenders are charging APR of over 4,000%;

• A charity that helps such lenders said the number of people seeking help with payday loan debts soared from 6,491 in 2009 to 17,414 in 2011 and in 2012 this had exceeded 22,000;

• Citizens Advice Bureau says that the checks to ensure borrowers can pay back their loans, are only carried out about 35% of the time; This is a pretty desperate situation.

I am not advocating banning of these companies (as they have in some states in America) but I do advocate that we should restrict the maximum APR that they charge. In our motion we advocated an upper limit of 50% APR and to limit loan providers from using extra charges for late payment or administrative costs to recover the income lost from these extortionate rates.

People on low pay should not be vulnerable to these legalised loan sharks. As a party that works to emancipate society from unfair conditions, prejudices and strives to ensure a fair and level playing field for all, we cannot fail those who are suffering disproportionately under the current economic climate and are clearly fodder for these objectionable companies who in reality are making life more difficult for them.

Cllr Tahir Maher Vice-Chair – South Central Region

Time for Growth

In 1997 labour inherited a balanced budget from the Tories and for well over the 10 years we had Gordon Brown telling us that he had got rid of the boom and bust cycle. From 2009 the deficit had ballooned to £171b. This deficit was higher than the recessions of the 80’s, the 90’s and even when the Labour party went to IMF cap in hand in ’76 (another fine mess they got us into).

Economic orthodoxy maintained by labour and Tories for the 40 odd years ensures: – the same economic models, over reliance on an unbalanced economy, poor regulation and over reliance on financial and service sector. Failure to manage the housing stock massively increased personal debt.

Labour and Tories ignored manufacturing which meant it dwindled over the decades. Rarely have we seen from the mid-1980s ‘made in Britain’; we have increasingly relied on imports that further unbalanced the economy. All this failed spectacularly in 2007, the fact the British economy is still contracting is a clear evidence of this failure.

This was followed by under capitalised banks that stopped lending to SME who have always fuelled true growth in the British economy. Today we have poor exports, high unemployment, negativity equity, high personal debt and a lingering unbalanced economy which all badly hits the Treasurer. That is why the government is borrowing more than ever and why we are still in a debt crisis.

Other than Tony Blair no Labour Government has ever reduced unemployment in their term in office. Eventually they revert to high borrowing and high taxes to pay for it. This is Labour’s orthodoxy.

The Tories are no better. Their answer seems to be to cut against market led recovery.  Tories in this coalition are locked into this mind-set; they can ignore Labour the opposition but we are part of a coalition and we can’t be so easily ignored. I believe that we signed up to this coalition to help the British people and get the country out of the mess labour left us in, in 5 year (which is now not going to happen). We didn’t sign on to help the Tories toddle along pushing old Thatcherite policies – their Economic orthodoxy.

We as a party need to be more pragmatic. We are borrowing £1 in £7, there is room to borrow for “good investment” (and this is the time to borrow with such low interest rates). INVESTMENT in infrastructure / manufacturing / housing / transport will generate revenue for the Treasurer, will create jobs (reduce the debt burden), will provide an opportunity for export and will help us to correct this unbalance economy especially if the recovery and investment is pushed regionally.

Investment that gives added value. Genuinely pushing banks to lend to SME’s, tax breaks for new start-ups, help with training, investment in areas and sectors where growth will drive up revenue and unemployment down. These are the area that Government need to push.

To reduce the deficit we need to grow the economy. A growing economy will generate revenues that will pay off the deficit. Once we clear the deficit can we reduce the debt. We as Liberal democrats need to move away from traditional economic orthodoxy and focus on what will work to grow our economy and expand our export base. Our allegiance is not specific to the labelled working or upper classes but to the British public.

Go for Growth

Cllr. Tahir Maher

Laws: More Money for Pupil Premium


The Coalition Government has today announced how much Pupil Premium money each school in England will receive in 2013/14.

The cash targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition Government.

The Pupil Premium will be worth a total of £1.65bn, or £900 per child, in 2013/14. It covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws said:

“Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and a fair society where everyone can get ahead. Education is absolutely at the heart of that.

“The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition, extra IT support – whatever the school thinks best.

“Helping the most disadvantaged children helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.”

You can find details of how much each local school in England will gain from the Lib Dem Pupil Premium, by visiting this website:

Image Copyright: Flickr/Educationgovuk


Liberal Democrats: Cutting Your Taxes by £600 a Year

Commenting on the rise in the Income Tax personal allowance announced in the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Stephen Williams said:
“Liberal Democrats are working for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life. That’s why we are cutting taxes for working people.
“Today’s announcement means that by April, Liberal Democrats will have cut your income tax bill by £600 a year.
“Liberal Democrats want fairer taxes, which is why we made raising the tax-free allowance our number one priority at the General Election – so important that we put it on the front page of our manifesto.
“When times are tough, with rising bills and wages not keeping pace with inflation, we want to give people real, practical help.
“Cutting Income Tax will not deal with all of those problems, but it will help. And I hope it will make a big difference to every family in this country.”

You can help Liberal Democrats keep cutting your taxes by supporting our Fairer Tax campaign at

Liberal Democrats: Fighting for Fairer Taxes

Launched at the Lib Dems Autumn Conference in Brighton, the Fairer Tax campaign seeks to make sure that the super rich pay their fair share and to cut the tax bill of ordinary people.
If successful this would mean that since entering the Coalition, Liberal Democrats will have cut the Income Tax bill of most people by £700.
Commenting on the campaign, Deputy Prime Minister  Nick Clegg said: “In government, the Liberal Democrats have already delivered a 10% increase in Capital Gains Tax from 18% to 28%, a new tax on sales houses worth over £2 million and a £10 billion new bank tax.”
“But we believe we can make taxes even fairer.”
“That’s why we’re calling for tax loopholes to be closed and a new wealth tax on the super rich to be introduced. This should then allow us to cut the Income Tax bill of hardworking people.”
If you are interested in joining the Fairer Tax campaign, or learning more about how Liberal Democrats are working to deliver fairer taxes in tough times, please visit our campaign website: