Lib Dems to deliver £7 billion schools funding boost

Tim Farron and Sarah Olney have announced that the Liberal Democrats will invest nearly £7bn more in schools and colleges over the next parliament.

The funding would reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from the National Funding Formula.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Sarah Olney said:

Children are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers – but Theresa May doesn’t care.

While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions of pounds are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools.

This extra £7 billion of funding would ensure no school and no child loses out.

We will reverse crippling Conservative cuts to school budgets and invest to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Tim Farron added

A landslide for the Conservatives would allow Theresa May to take parents across the country for granted and cut our schools to the bone.

Only the Liberal Democrats can provide the strong opposition Britain needs to stand up for your community.

Vote for the Liberal Democrats and you can change Britain’s future.

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  • Colin Paine 10th May '17 - 7:31am

    Where is that money coming from? Let’s not get involved in a fantasy economics contest with Labour.

  • SheepBrains 10th May '17 - 8:15am

    If you are trying to one-up Labour: YOU WILL FAIL. You should be focusing on the neglected centre-ground voters, not with increasingly apathetic left wing voters that have vindictive distrust and hatred against you, or/and already firmly in the Corbyn orbit. Otherwise massive wasted opportunity this election.

  • In the short run at least an extra £7 billion on schools can only come about by … increasing the gap between taxes and spending (running a bigger deficit); raising taxes or reducing spending elsewhere. To say you are going to spend an extra £7 billion on schools without saying how it would be paid for is not supportive of a mature democratic process. (Notice how even the discredited “Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party” have said they will fund a similar package by putting up the rate of corporation tax.)

  • How will this be paid for?

  • “Lib Dems to deliver £7 billion”

    Errrr, no. Not unless we make at least 310 gains in four weeks time.

    Use of the conditional by the anonymous ‘The Voice’ would be sensible.

  • David Evershed 10th May '17 - 9:14am

    Re the money for it.

    I think Tim Farron says it will automatically come about by not leaving the EU and the economy performing better than it would if we left.

    Not sure staying in the EU generates more money – just avoids there being less money available.

  • Mark Humble 10th May '17 - 9:18am

    We seem to be getting into Labour’s realm of fantasy economics. Promising to increase tax and spending is easy to do but does nothing to boost the economy without which all other plans are unachievable. I despair at this drift to the Left. It will do nothing to attract tribal Labour voters and will alienate most of the centre ground. We are missing a golden opportunity by trying to be Labour-Lite and constantly making snide comments about the Tories. What has happened to the true Liberal philosophy of social progress and economic competence and growth?

  • Malcolm Todd 10th May '17 - 9:34am

    “Promising to increase tax and spending is easy to do but does nothing to boost the economy…”

    Not so: public spending is a very effective way to boost the economy (though more so if funded by borrowing than tax) – what do you think kick-started the UK economy after 2012? There are other problems with tax-and-spend, of course; but the idea of public spending as an economic negative is a Tory fallacy that has done a lot of harm to both the social and the economic fabric of the nation.

  • David Becket 10th May '17 - 9:41am

    1 I understand the funding will appear in the manifesto, hopefully as a balanced financial package

    2 This should be seen as means of obtaining additional money for our poorly funded education system

    3 That both Labour and the Lib Dems have addressed the issue shows how desperate the situation is

    4 The challenge should be to the Tories, what do they propose apart from wasting money on Grammar and free schools

    5 As a vote catcher it will achieve little. Whilst there is a desperate need to improve education and skills in this country the majority of voters are not interested in the subject.

  • It seems every announcement is greeted by a chorus of disapproval.
    Are we no longer interested in defending spending on education? Are we supposed to line up behind the Tories’ real-term cuts to our schools? Most schools in my area are already running deficit budgets

  • Well, Libdem can raise corporate tax, UK tax rate is far lower than average. Also, we have land value tax, don’t we?

    Actually, you guys should promise to borrow at low interest rate for investments in infrastructure and public research, as well as supporting SMEs. As long as you use money to create real wealth rather than create more British Leylands, it would be worth spending. Besides, you can apply the KfW Bank mechanism for British Business Bank, raising funds by issuing state-backed bonds for investments. Come on, why should we let the Treasury economic view dictate everything?

    I also want Libdem to put the energy sector under state control/ownership again, as the foreign state-owned firms are charging high prices to get money to invest in their own country. The same with railway.

  • Following the election feeds this morning it looks like we might be getting the balance right if we are using a more moderate increase in corporation tax and scrapping marriage allowance to fund this. Better to have said so up front though rather than looking like we are making it up on the hoof!

  • Sue Sutherland 10th May '17 - 1:57pm

    I fail to see how investing more money in education is left wing. After all the majority of families rely on state provision and they do not want their children to fail. As Lib Dems we don’t want anyone to fail through ignorance, so we support an effective education system. Just because the Tories have moved to the right doesn’t mean that our policies are left wing and just because Labour’s leadership has moved leftwards doesn’t mean that if our polices are similar they must be revolutionary.

  • Agree, all parties, especially the Tories, seem to be obsessed with Treasury economics. Even in the Gladstonian era, education budget was always a core issue. We can raise corporate tax in a moderate way, land value tax, some changes in inheritance tax (maybe now based on book value of assets rather than the current inflated market prices), as well as closing loopholes. Maybe financial transaction tax could be considered if the Article 50 is revoked (well, but this scenario is in the realm of fantasy).

    The interest rate is historically low. If we do not borrow now to invest, then when?
    I remember that the (official) Liberal Party led by Lloyd George and Keynes was a staunch opponent of Tories’ austerity policies during the 1930s. Too bad Nick Clegg jumped into Tory austerity bandwagon 7 years ago. Frankly being a strong opposition would have been better than being Tory stooges, as the risk of a vote of no confidence would be inherent for Tories. Well, and there would be no Brexit.

  • The disapproval voices here are typical Washington Consensus Orange Book economics, which should have been go down as a footnote in Liberal History after 2015 disaster.

  • Peter Watson 10th May '17 - 3:19pm

    Did Sarah Olney or Tim Farron actually say how this money would/should be spent?

  • Good policy in my opinion.

  • Mark

    ‘We seem to be getting into Labour’s realm of fantasy economics’

    Couldn’t agree more,seems lessons weren’t learnt from the tuition fees fiasco.

  • George Crozier 11th May '17 - 10:10am

    Tim Farron explained how it would be paid for on yesterday’s Today Programme – corporation tax increases, scrapping the transferable allowance for married couples, staying in single market (increased tax take from higher GDP I think). But I understand the details of costings will appear with the manifesto. This is just one of the pre-manifesto teasers.

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