Tag Archives: liberal democrat manifesto 2015

Liberal Democrat manifesto – detailed costings published

The Liberal Democrats have published the detailed costings for their 2015 manifesto here.

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Manifesto front page: Welsh and Scottish versions

As we said in our post about the front page of the manifesto, the Welsh and the Scots would have slightly different versions. Here they are:

The Welsh version says we’ll deliver a stronger Wales, with more powers, home rule and fair funding. Devolution means that our priorities on health and education need to be tailored. We’ve already ensured that the Pupil Premium, which delivers extra money to help disadvantaged kids in school, has been implemented in Wales and say we’ll deliver continued investment. On health the priority is more resources and safe staffing levels, consistent with Kirsty Williams’ bill to put staffing levels on a statutory footing.

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Why the front page of our manifesto reminds me of 50 Shades of Grey

Manifesto_Covers_2015So, it’s out. The front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto gives five key policy priorities. These things are a negotiation in themselves and the version released is substantially zingier than the version initially presented to the Federal Policy Committee on Monday night. By way of example, I understand that the Five Green Laws point was initially described as a “Nature Law.” Why that makes me think of the Glee Club song “English Country Garden”, I can’t imagine.

Now, every single Liberal Democrat, being the
unique bunch that we are, will think that we could have worded these priorities much better, or we would have chosen something else. I certainly could. I’d have had housing in there and I sure as hell would not have put balancing the books as the first thing on the list. I’m not convinced of the need to do so in the next Parliament, even if I recognise that we can’t go back to the Days of Deficit Central while the economy is growing. The reason it is there, though, is because the economy, jobs and continued recovery feature highly in every survey of voters’ priorities.

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Catch-up LDVideo: Nick Clegg hails “a manifesto for the next generation”

It ended up being buried by this week’s news from Scotland and the Royal Baby – but the Lib Dem pre-manifesto was launched this week. You can read Stephen Tall’s initial take on it here and watch Nick Clegg hail it as “a manifesto for the next generation” in this video:

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Lib Dem pre-manifesto launched: includes policies to reform drugs laws and bus pass discount for under-21s

pre manifesto documentLast week’s pre-manifesto launch by the Lib Dems was postponed owing to the international situation. Thankfully no important news has broken over the past couple of days which might over-shadow today’s launch. Unless, that is, you think the potential break-up of the UK or a new Royal Baby are headline-grabbing events.

You can read the Pre-Manifesto in full below.

The party trailed its publication today with a couple of announcements intended to highlight key policies:

  • ‘Exclusive: Liberal Democrats to announce decriminalisation of all drugs’ headlined Politics.co.uk:
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    Postponed: Lib Dem pre-manifesto launch delayed owing to international situation

    Liberal Democrat manifesto front coverThe news of a further murder of a US hostage by ‘Islamic State’ broke last night. The Lib Dems have, therefore, decided to postpone today’s scheduled launch of the party’s pre-manifesto.

    The pre-manifesto is the document agreed by the Lib Dems’ elected federal policy committee (FPC) to be submitted to this autumn’s conference for approval. Its contents have been heavily trailed throughout the summer. By my count, 19 policies (mostly policies already agreed by conference, and listed at the foot of this post) have been unveiled, as the party gears up the publicity machine to try and get its key messages heard by the voters ahead of May’s general election.

    Party process purists won’t much like the publicity preceding the official conference vote, but the reality is unless the Lib Dems take every opportunity to hammer our policy messages home then what we have to say won’t ever be heard. A bit like leaflet delivery in an election campaign, it’s only when we’re sick and tired of hearing the message that there’s a slim chance the electorate might have noticed it even once.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 32 Comments

    Opinion: How about some real fairness in our tax system?

    On 27th August as a party of the new Liberal Democrat media strategy of Manifesto by a Thousand Statements, in the name of the party it was announced that The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to introduce a trio of wealth taxes which will help to cut the deficit whilst ensuring fairness in our tax system.  I fully understand the need to wipe out the deficit, and the need for the wealthiest to bear the greatest burden in achieving that, but let us not confuse that with making our tax system fairer.

    National Insurance is a tax on income.  It is paid at a rate of 11% on earnings between £7,956 per year and £ 41,865 per year above which it drops to just 2%.  Surely integrating NI into Income Tax, thereby raising the basic threshold to the proposed £12,500 and reducing the rate of payment substantially (we are always told that the richest 10% pay the highest burden in tax) would be a way of  ensuring fairness in our tax system.  This is a measure that would have a direct impact on the daily lives of the majority of our citizens, rather than just playing to the politics of envy.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 29 Comments

    Paul Burstow MP writes..Carer’s Bonus is only the first new policy to help carers

    CarerJust as public services, communities and workplaces have seen a shift in how families are supported to balance childcare responsibilities with busy working lives, we now need a similar shift to meet the care needs of a rapidly growing older population too.

    Thanks to the Liberal Democrats the Care Act and Children and Families Act have both extended the rights of Carers of all ages, but there is still much more to be done to recognise the hidden treasure that are Carers.

    Caring responsibilities can come at any time in a person’s life …

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    Opinion: Getting back to the manifesto

    libdemmanifesto 2010 wordleGetting this right is probably the foremost challenge the Party faces. Earlier year the Social Liberal Forum conducted an online survey, including open comments, over the contents of the Party’s pre-manifesto themes document and consultation. Although the response rates were low and mostly SLF members, it gives an interesting insight into what some party think of the work done on manifesto thinking to date.

    The “Stronger economy, fairer society” theme

    77% supported the slogan, 23% did not, but the majority of comments including from those who said “yes” thought it a …

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    Nick Clegg’s press conference: A new policy, looking ahead to an “independent, liberal” manifesto, Iraq, leadership and Smarties

    Nick Clegg Q&A 19I promised you a bit more from Nick Clegg’s  monthly press conference this morning. Overnight, he had released his opening statement, but there was a surprise to come – a shiny new policy.  Now, obviously, that has to come to Conference so it’s not set in stone, but I suspect it will get a favourable hearing.

    From cradle to college

    Basically, all early years and school education funding, including the Pupil Premium, will be ring-fenced.

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    In Full: Nick Clegg’s statement from today’s Press Conference: Britain needs a new wave or energy, optimism and liberalism

    Nick Clegg Q&A 12Nick Clegg gave his monthly press conference. This is the statement he had released in advance. We’ll deal with the press conference itself in another post.

    Today I want to talk about the Liberal Democrats’ 2015 manifesto.  With just 325 days remaining in this Parliament, and the final year’s agenda of this coalition agreed and announced in the Queen’s Speech it is time to start talking about the future. It is time to set out our distinct Liberal Democrat vision for the next Parliament.  For a party in government,

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    Manifesto 2015: The debate is on

    logo_lg new Liberal Democrat logoLast week saw the final, rearranged, Manifesto Roadshow in Leeds chaired by Sal Brinton. Those of us present had some good opportunities to suggest and debate policy ideas for the 2015 General Election manifesto.

    There was lots of discussion of transport issues – around the quality and reliability of buses and trains and the capacity of the rail network. I raised the point that transport links between and within the northern cities has been identified as a vital ingredient in the agglomeration recipe that supports economic growth. While there has been some progress on this, such as with the Northern Rail Hub, we need much stronger and clearer ambition still.

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    Opinion: The first of the big four commitments for the front page of the manifesto

    Lib Dem manifesto WordleTime and again we have been asked what four key commitments we should make in our manifesto for the next General Election.

    I am of the opinion that, whilst until recently the idea that Liberal Democrats could go into a General Election campaign with the simplification of the tax regime as a cornerstone of our manifesto would have been laughable, as we near the end of our first term of Government in over 70 years that should be where we find ourselves and what’s more it should be a key commitment in our manifesto.

    Posted in Op-eds | 27 Comments

    David Laws on Times manifesto article: “Nothing could be further from the truth”

    I wrote this morning about an article in the Times which suggested that our manifesto would ditch policies that both the Conservatives and Labour disagreed with.

    Manifesto Working Group Chair David Laws has responded to the Times article with an unequivocal posting on the party’s new website.

    He says:

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    As Chair of the Manifesto Group, I see it as our role to set out a clear Liberal Democrat vision of where we would like to take Britain in the next Parliament – this is why our Manifesto themes paper at the Glasgow conference has a chapter

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    Nobody else will speak up for liberalism, so our manifesto has to be brimming with it

    lib dem manifesto tax cutI find myself bemused by this report from today’s Times (£) which suggests that Liberal Democrats would steer clear of any policies that both the Conservatives or Labour disagreed with in our manifesto for next year’s General Election.

    The article reports a conversation with a Liberal Democrat source:

    He conceded that the party was not going to win a majority at the next general election, but said it was vital that it left open the opportunity of working with either of the other two parties. “We need to

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 37 Comments

    David Laws’ “Manifestival” now up on You Tube

    David Laws and PinguLast night, David Laws spent an hour answering members’ questions on the development of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. He took questions on a huge range of issues ranging from the economy to civil liberties to justice, fracking and schools. It’s quite remarkable that this is being done so openly and publicly.

    Some of us had trouble accessing the event. If it hadn’t been for Stace Williams, I wouldn’t have managed it at all. As it as, I have half an hour to catch up on. And I can, too. Because it’s up on You Tube.

    It’s 53 minutes long, so best to be enjoyed over a cup of tea.

    I make no apology, by the way, for the gratuitous use of the photograph of David and Pingu. I don’t think Paddy Ashdown has yet forgiven you readers for not voting it the best photo in the Liberal Democrat Voice awards. I see no reason why we shouldn’t use it as much as we possibly can.

    Anyway, enjoy the Q & A. You will note that the Divine Ms Duffett looks as if she has been at that Fountain of Eternal Youth again. She is very good at chairing these webinars, making them informal and informative.

    I should also emphasise that David said that he ideally needs ideas for the manifesto within the next six months s0 get them to him. Go and Join the Debate.

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments

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