Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2015 - Summer Of Policy Announcements

Just in case you missed it, here's a quick list of the policy announcements that have been made over the summary;

  • Protecting education spending: Extend the protection to all education funding from early years through school to college
  • Parental Guarantee: A core curriculum taught by qualified teachers
  • Curriculum for Life: Children in state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, will be guaranteed age appropriate sex and relationship education, as well as financial literacy and citizenship lessons
  • Early Years Pupil Premium: We will more than triple investment in the early years pupil premium from £300 to £1000 per child under manifesto plans
  • ‘Daddy Month’: We will expand shared parental leave with an additional four week ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ paternity leave period
  • Balance the budget: Aim to balance the structural current budget by 2017/18 and set a course to reduce debt as a share of national income. Make deficit reduction fair by ensuring high earners and the wealthiest pay their share. Set new fiscal rules to balance the budget while allowing borrowing for productive investment. Increase public spending again in line with growth in the economy once the budget is balanced.
  • Cutting taxes for working people: Raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 before beginning to raise the National Insurance threshold
  • Making our tax system fairer: We will increase taxes on the wealthiest, including raising Capital Gains Taxes and introducing a High Value Property Tax. Our manifesto plans include: Introducing a banded High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2m; limit tax relief on pensions to a pot of £1m; maximising revenue from Capital Gains Tax by aligning rates more closely to Income Tax
  • 300,000 homes: Set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of house building to 300,000 a year
  • Ring fence NHS budget: NHS spending will rise by at least the rate of inflation over the next Parliament. We also announced they will pool health and social care budgets. This would help make care more tailored towards individual patients and reduce inefficiencies
  • Help for Carers: We will support carers with a package of measures designed to make their lives easier. The package includes an annual Carer’s Bonus of up to £250 and raising the amount carers can earn before losing their allowance. It also contains measures for more flexible working hours, support in returning to the jobs market and a scheme informing carers of their rights and giving them access to facilities
  • Mental health: We will establish a mental health research fund worth £50m per year to help bridge the gap between physical health and mental health treatment
  • Drugs: We will end imprisonment for drug users whose only crime is possession for personal use. They will instead receive non-custodial sentences and appropriate medical treatment
  • Safe Standing: Clubs in the Premier League and Championship will be allowed to work with their supporters to introduce standing areas, which provide better atmospheres and allow clubs to offer cheaper safe standing season tickets
  • Stop and Search: We want to help transform community relations and the public’s trust in the police through tightening the laws on stop and search, and requiring some police officers to wear body cameras when they stop someone. We will introduce rules making the wearing of body cameras by officers mandatory for: Section 60 stop and search areas; officers armed with firearms; members of Territorial Support Groups
  • Tree planting: Within the first year of entering government we will develop the national tree planting programme in order to plant one tree for every child born in England. We estimate this will be approximately 700,000 to 750,000 trees per year
  • Benefits yellow card: Under manifesto proposals people claiming unemployment benefit would be given a final warning for failing to stick to claimant conditions. Claimants would be given a reminder of their obligations and clear information about the sanction process which would only be triggered in the event of a further misdemeanour
  • High Pay: Companies will be forced to publish their highest earners pay. Our outline plans to encourage fair pay deals by requiring companies with over 250 employees to publish the pay levels of their highest paid employee and median pay across the Company. And we will require these larger companies to consult employees on executive pay proposals to help put downward pressure on excessive awards