The Liberal Democrats 2015 manifesto has been published and I’m really pleased that the theme is opportunity – we want to ensure that everyone, no matter where they are born, their ethnicity or religion, or how rich their parents are, has the same opportunity to reach their full potential, and to live their lives as they see best.
The manifesto includes:
- Opportunity for children: with investment in education from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every classroom
- Opportunity for young people: with more apprenticeships, discounted bus travel, a massive increase in housebuilding and support to rent or own their own home through the innovative Help to Rent and Rent to Own schemes
- Opportunity for parents: with more free childcare and more paternity leave for fathers
- Opportunity for workers: with a further £400 tax cut for millions of working people
- Opportunity for older people: with the pensions triple lock written into law and the extra £8bn a year the NHS needs by 2020 to cope with the pressures of an ageing population
- Opportunity for the next generation: with the budget balanced and our environment protected so that our children and grandchildren are not left to pay for the mistakes of this one
I’m especially proud of the following three policies:
- The only party willing to commit to investing the money the NHS needs (and fully costed commitment). This is especially important given the vital role St George’s and Springfield University hospital plays in the constituency.
- Committed to protect education funding – we’ve already put an extra a £2.5bn into schools with our ‘Pupil Premium’, as promised in the Lib Dem manifesto, and targeted it at those who need it most (you can see how much each school has received, with this handy map).
- Serious about mental health – we want people to get better and faster care, you can read more about our action plan here.
But don’t just take my word for it, please have a look yourself www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto
What is especially pleasing is that the policies have been fully costs, and independent analysis has not (yet!) shown a black hole / questionable funding like the Conservatives right to buy extension, or how Labour tackles the deficit (and by when).