Tag Archives: 2024 manifesto

Why the Lib Dem Manifesto has lifelong learning at its heart

It will come to no surprise to anyone that I wholeheartedly believe in the power of education. So when our manifesto was released last week, I was delighted to see such a keen focus on policies to support our wonderful yet undervalued FE colleges. For far too long our colleges have been underfunded and unsupported and the Lib Dem manifesto seeks to change this alongside highlighting the importance of lifelong learning.

In the manifesto, we pledge to review of further education funding, including the option of exempting colleges from VAT. FE funding compares extremely unfavourably with both university and school funding, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlighting that FE and skills saw the largest spending cuts across all areas of education since 2010, with college spending per student approximately 10% lower than 2010-2011 levels and adult skills spending 23% below 2009-2010 levels. Colleges also pay VAT, unlike schools and academies, and approximately £200 million could be reinvested back into the skills system and make a key difference in colleges ability to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed.

We also pledge to create new “Lifelong Skills Grants” which will give all adults £5000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives, with the aim to increase this to £10,000 in the future when public finances allow. This offers a clear differentiation from existing and promised government commitments through their Lifelong Learning Entitlement, because it is a grant, rather than a loan. We understand that for any adult deciding whether to make the plunge into learning that there is a myriad of considerations, the time to complete their studies, and the costs if they have to give up some hours at work. Additionally, most adults with families and financial responsibilities are loathe to take on more debt, even if it will lead to a better job with better pay. These grants will give adults an investment into their futures, that will lead to better success and growth for the nation.

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Access our manifesto

The BSL version of our manifesto has now been launched.

The web based manifesto can be read here.

You can also download other versions from this page (scroll down to the bottom), including Braille, clear print, plain text and easy read versions and as a normal pdf.

The costings of our manifesto can be examined here.

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EU nationals and the Lib Dem manifesto

I wonder how often any of us actually read political parties’ manifestos. I agree; we have much better things to do. I also know that so many of us are simply fed up with reading stuff that promises lots and delivers very little.

However, I do believe that it is our democratic responsibility to ensure that we educate ourselves and vote in any elections in line with our moral, social and political conscience. This can be achieved by being well informed and not only by voting with our gut feeling.

Although this issue will not entertain a lot of people and it will not win many seats across the Parliament, I feel that for many of us it is hugely important. I am delighted that the Lib Dem Manifesto makes so many concrete pledges in relation to the lives of many European nationals living in Britain.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments

WATCH: Lib Dem manifesto launch

In case you missed it, here is all the fun of the manifesto launch.  The text of Ed’s highly personal speech about his experience of caring for both his mum and his son is below.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments
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