The Liberal Democrats have revealed the details of their General Election manifesto entitled Stop Brexit, Build A Brighter Future.
It is also accompanied by a short costings summary, which claims the plan is to “fully fund” day-to-day public spending and borrow for capital spending.
Here is an at-a-glance look at what is in the 100-page manifesto.
The Lib Dems pledge to revoke Article 50 and ensure Britain stays in the EU if they were ever to lead a majority government. They add in “other circumstances” they will continue to “fight” for a second referendum with the option to stay in the EU.
The Lib Dems argue keeping the UK in the EU would generate a “Remain Bonus” of £50 billion which can be invested in public services.
Priorities in the next parliament are listed as including: £130 billion investment in infrastructure to upgrade transport and energy systems, plus build schools, hospitals and houses; a £10,000 “skills wallet” scheme for every adult in England to spend on education and training throughout their life; and a “wellbeing budget” which bases decisions for government spending on what will improve wellbeing – as well as on economic and fiscal indicators.
Within the £130 billion package is a continued commitment to HS2, plans to build 300,000 homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes, and £5 billion of initial capital for a new Green Investment Bank to help attract private investment for zero-carbon priorities.
A “start-up allowance” to help new businesses in their opening few weeks is also mooted and employers would be encouraged to give staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares.
– Tax and wages
Corporation tax would be restored to 20%, the separate Capital Gains Tax-free allowance would be abolished and instead the approach would be to tax capital gains and salaries through a single allowance, the marriage tax allowance would be scrapped, and the loan charge would be ended.
The Lib Dems would also want to establish an independent review to consult on how to set a “genuine” living wage across all sectors.
A new “dependent contractor” employment status would be established, which would sit between employment and self-employment and come with entitlements to rights such as minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement.
They add they want to set a 20% higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts “at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work”, while also providing the right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for “zero hours” and agency workers.
Free childcare for children from nine months for all working parents, reversing cuts to school funding, employing an extra 20,000 teachers, and clearing the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings are listed priorities.
The Lib Dems also pledge to scrap mandatory SATs and replace existing government “league tables” of schools with a “broader set of indicators”.
The manifesto also outlines a £1 billion commitment to children’s centres, a tripling of the early years pupil premium to £1,000, and replacing Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools.
They add they want to raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers’ pay by at least 3% per year throughout the parliament.
Climate priorities include insulating all of Britain’s homes by 2030, having at least 80% of UK electricity generated from renewables by 2030, banning fracking for good, planting 60 million trees a year, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring all new cars are electric by 2030.
Non-recyclable single-use plastics would be banned and replaced with “affordable alternatives”, adding they would aim for their “complete elimination within three years”. A £5 billion flood prevention and climate adaptation fund would also be established.
On public transport, the Lib Dems pledge to “freeze rail fares for commuters and season ticket holders for a parliament”.
The first priorities are raising £7 billion a year extra by putting a penny on income tax, with this money to be spent on the NHS and social care, treating mental health with the same urgency as physical health, and reforming the Health and Social Care Act to make the NHS “work in a more efficient and joined-up way, and to end the automatic tendering of services”.
A compulsory levy on gambling companies would be introduced to fund research, education and treatment of problem gambling, while credit card use for gambling would be banned.
Minimum unit pricing for alcohol would also be introduced.
The party says it will invest £1 billion in community policing and take a “public health approach” on violence by not “wasting money locking people up on short sentences that don’t work”.
An extra 2,000 prison officers would form part of a push to make prisons “places of rehabilitation”.
The manifesto also promises to fully fund an immediate 2% pay rise for police officers, “properly resource” the National Crime Agency, end the “disproportionate use” of stop and search powers and replace police and crime commissioners with boards of local councillors.
Reforming Universal Credit forms the heart of the Lib Dems’ welfare policy. This includes reducing the wait for first payments “from five weeks to five days,” and also making the benefit “more supportive” of the self-employed.
A “legal right to food” would become law and public policy would be audited for its impact on food security.
The party would retain the so-called triple lock on the basic state pension – where it rises in line with the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. Women born in the 1950s – the WASPI women – would also be “properly compensated” for the increase in the state pension age.