LibLink… Danny Alexander: We are on course to deliver all four of our manifesto priorities

Four key Lib Dem manifesto commitmentsAt the start of Budget week, Danny Alexander writes at Comment is Free that the coalition government is about more than balancing the books, but about enacting reform with a foundation of economic recovery.

He returns to the commander’s intent of the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto, restating its four key policies –

  • Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket
  • A fair chance for every child
  • A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener
  • A fair deal for you from politicians

– and appropriately for Budget week, majors on tax:

Liberal Democrats should be judged not only by how we deal with Labour’s profligate legacy, but on how we deliver our own agenda. We may not have won the general election outright, but we are on course to deliver all four of our main priorities from our election manifesto. With a £2.5bn pupil premium, every child will get the chance for a fair start in life. The referendum on AV will give you a say in making MPs work harder for your vote. Investing in green jobs will not only support our economy, but will develop green technologies too.

And most importantly of all, this government will deliver a fair deal on taxes. Our ambition is that no one should pay any tax on the first £10,000 they earn. This will create a fairer country that helps those on lower incomes to help themselves. We took the first big step to get there last June, increasing the threshold by £1,000, from £6,475 under Labour to £7,475 this year. From next month, almost a million of the lowest paid won’t pay any tax at all.

This change won’t just help those earning less than £10,000. In fact, once you take all the coalition’s personal tax changes into account, everyone earning under £35,000 will be better off.

Read the full article at the Guardian’s Comment is Free.

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16 Comments

  • @David: If he did that, he’d be one up on most Labour MPs. And two-up on the MPs who maintain they didn’t break the 2001 manifesto promise because the £3k fees didn’t come in ’til September 2005.

  • A good spoof article, although a little early for April Fools’ Day which is clearly when it should have been posted.

    If the rumours are true that this week’s budget will announce that: “Planning laws will be swept away in a bid to unleash a wave of housebuilding; councils will be allowed to keep more of the tax paid by local businesses, giving them an incentive to approve new development.” (The Observer, Sunday 20 March 2011) then the Coalition will go down as one of the ‘least green governments ever’, as more unspoilt countryside and wildlife habitat is concreted over and destroyed. Such a laissez faire approach to planning is clearly unsustainable and damaging to quality of life in this small grossly overcrowded island.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 21st Mar '11 - 12:25pm

    Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket

    Yes Danny – but lets not talk about the even greater amount of unfair taxes that take the money out of your pocket.

    A fair chance for every child

    So what exactly has happened to the promises on Sure Start?

    A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener

    Have you looked at the job figures recently Danny? I think you will find that it part of your job description. I f you think you are delivering on this could I suggest you stop doing so.

    A fair deal for you from politicians

    I think the opinion polls and by election results are telling you all you need to know about this one Danny.

  • Matthew Huntbach 21st Mar '11 - 3:15pm


    In fact, once you take all the coalition’s personal tax changes into account, everyone earning under £35,000 will be better off.

    Not if they’ve lost their job due to “the cuts”.

  • Old Codger Chris 21st Mar '11 - 5:42pm

    A fair chance for every child? With all the education cuts and Local Education Authorities dismembered?

    I’m not saying that all Local Education Authorities are great – or even good. Some schools, in some areas, will be pleased to be rid of them. Others will lose much needed support and will struggle to replace this in the market place. Some academies will flourish, others will sink – the logic of the market, tough on the children caught in the middle.

    I seem to recall a government that was very fond of saying that reform was essential because children only get one chance. Let me see, who was PM at the time? Ah yes, the grocer’s daughter from Grantham.

  • Tony Dawson 21st Mar '11 - 7:30pm

    I think that achieving ‘priorities’ is admirable. But ‘priorities’ are negotiable. Promises are not.

  • I suggest you read John Howson’s review of educational change before you claim any credit in that area.

    The pupil premium has no benefit whatsoever as it has been more than wiped out by the 80% cut to devolved capital. Expenses such as IT which used to be met from the capital budget now have to be met from revenue and the premium just fills (some of) the gap.

  • @Nigel
    Thank you for putting the Pupil Premium in its place. I wish Sarah Teather would admit the same. In schools we have LAs telling us how bleak it is and then Lib Dems in the media tell people schools are hardly affected.
    As for IT, such a great tool to enhance good teaching and to engage the iPhone generation, not to mention its essential role in catering to pupils with special needs, people are reluctant to believe that it could be under threat. It is about to lose its footing due to inconvenient financial pressures such as staff salaries and building maintenance.

  • @Ivan White – thank you for posting your link. I had not been aware of the MSN site but I will now migrate to yours.

    I hope that, there, as a Liberal Democrat (still, but only just) I will be able to say exactly what I think about what is happening in the Coalition.

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Mar '11 - 12:27pm

    George W Potter

    If they’re *earning* then surely they haven’t lost their jobs. Hence your comment is a bit of a non-statement.

    But then you’re talking purely in terms of present tense, so you can’t say they are better off because better off than what? The sentence assumes better off than some time in the past. Danny Alexander is saying his government means everyone who was earning £35,000 at some point will be better off at some point later than that because they will be paying less tax. I am pointing out this is untrue because as a result of his policies many people are losing their jobs and so are considerably worse off.

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