We have laid out our
plans for a Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society in our 2015
manifesto. A manifesto that promises Opportunity For
The Liberal Democrats have, whilst in Government, delivered on many of our Key Policies from our 2010 manifesto, 75% of our 2010 manifesto made it into the coalition. Our front page promise of a £10,000 tax allowance has been delivered and exceeded,
We have a record of delivery, on education, on the economy, on fairer taxes, on green issues and on health and our 2015 manifesto is a promise of more.
Education is the best way to give children the opportunity to reach their full potential, wherever they live and whatever their background. In government, Liberal Democrats have insisted on protecting school budgets, but without us that protection would evaporate. Liberal Democrats introduced a £2.5bn pupil premium to get extra money to the children who need the most help; introduced free school meals for under 7s; and expanded free nursery places to cut the cost of childcare and give children the best possible start. Our manifesto commits us to go even further. We will protect the education budget from nursery to 19. We will give every child access to a high quality pre-school education, and we will insist that every child is taught by a qualified teacher. We have a clear ambition to eradicate child illiteracy: our changes will mean every child leaves primary school able to read well by 2025.
In 2010 the Liberal Democrats joined the coalition with a clear, over-riding priority: to rescue, repair and renew the economy. Times have been tough for lots of people across the country who have had to work hard and make real sacrifices to get where we are today. As Liberal Democrats, we were always clear that austerity was necessary, not desirable. We have stuck to a clear, sensible plan – anchoring the government in the centre ground. We are determined to finish the job in full and on time and to do so fairly. We brought stability at a time of crisis and are now beginning to see the fruits of those decisions: the fastest growing economy in the G7; record numbers of people in work; wages pulling ahead of inflation and a more balanced economy emerging. Our plan is for a stronger economy and a fairer society that creates opportunities for everyone, no matter what your background.
Liberal Democrats in government have cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes, to help families get by. We have gone even further than our manifesto pledge to let people earn £10,000 tax free by increasing the personal allowance to £11,000. This will have lifted over three million people out of income tax altogether and delivered a tax cut of more than £800 for millions of low and middle income tax payers in this Parliament. Our aim is to re-balance the tax system away from taxing work and towards unearned wealth, so the next generation can keep more of the money they earn and live in a more equal world. We will raise the personal allowance to at least £12,500, cutting taxes for those on low and middle incomes by around a further £400. And as we finish the job of balancing the books we will use taxes on the wealthiest, on banks, big business and on polluters to limit the impact of deficit reduction on public services. This will include taxes such as a High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2million. We do not think low and middle income earners should bear the burden of tax rises to tackle the deficit: our plans do not require any increase in the headline rates of Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT or Corporation Tax.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto includes plans for five new laws to protect the environment. The plans include legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector. Liberal Democrats in government have worked hard to keep the environment at the top of the agenda. The party wants to go further and build on their achievements in Government in areas including Britain’s rise in renewable energy, the Green Investment Bank and record investment in our railways. The plans include new rights to access green space, new marine and coastal reserves, the roll out of an electric vehicle charging point network, ambitious waste reduction plans and new regulations to boost energy efficiency and renewable heat to cut energy bills.
Under Liberal Democrat spending plans
Health Service funding will be at least £8bn higher per year
in real terms by 2020. The Liberal Democrats are the
political party to have committed to the
£8bn funding that
NHS needs and
set out a credible road map for how we
will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament. This is in
response to the call for this investment by the Chief
Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, in autumn 2014.
We will end the discrimination against mental health in our NHS, backed by £500m a year in extra funding, there will be extra Help for Carers, and we will finish the job of implementing our reforms for a cap on the cost of social care, and end “care cramming ”which turns care workers into clock-watchers between jobs.