AT-A-GLANCE: The key pledges from the Liberal Democrats' election manifesto

Posted On: 
20th November 2019

The Liberal Democrats are the first major party to unveil their election manifesto. But what are the key pledges?

Jo Swinson said halting Brexit would deliver a £50bn 'Remain bonus'
Credit: 
PA

Stopping Brexit

The key plank of the Liberal Democrat's election plan is their pledge to revoke Article 50 and put an immediate end to the Brexit process. The party says the UK's continued membership of the European Union will deliver a boost to public finances of around £50bn resulting from faster economic growth.

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Their own analysis concludes the UK economy will be 1.9% larger by 2024-25 than it would be under Boris Johnson's Brexit plan.

The so-called "Remain bonus" will be used to fund some of their other spending pledges.

Climate Emergency

The party has committed to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 through a £86bn spending commitment which will see 80% of the UK’s electricity demand met through renewable sources by 2030.

The cash will also be used to electrify the UK’s rail network and ensure all new vehicles will be electric by 2030.

They have also committed to planting a further 60m trees every year in an effort to protect biodiversity and improve air quality.

Meanwhile, a further £15bn will be used to retrofit 26 million homes around the country to make them more energy efficient.

Health and social care

A new £7bn-a-year ring fenced spending pot for the NHS and social care in England and Wales will be raised by putting an extra 1p on income tax.

The Lib Dems would use the cash to tackle “urgent” staff shortages and boost spending on mental health provision, including a commitment to treat mental health conditions with the same priority as physical illnesses.

The party has also pledged to reduce the GP shortage by 2025 through the recruitment and training of more doctors. And they say improving care pathways to better utilise nurses and pharmacists will help tackle waiting times for appointments.

A further £10bn will be invested in upgrading and repairing medical facilities, as well as providing new resources for ambulance and mental health services.

The party has also committed to launching a consultation to deliver a dedicated Health and Social Care Tax which will be offset by other tax reductions.

Education

The party has committed to investing an "emergency" £10bn fund over five-years to boost teacher numbers in England by 20,000. Lib Dems bosses say the fund will also allow teachers to get a pay boost of "up to 3% a year".

The planned recruitment drive would also help reduce class sizes and restore per-pupil funding to 2015 levels.

The manifesto also includes a pledge to spend a further £1.2bn to expand the provision of free school meals to all primary schools children, as well as secondary school children whose parents are claiming Universal Credit.

Meanwhile, a £10,000 skills wallet will be made available to everyone in the country to pay for further education and training throughout their lives.

Crime

A further £1bn will be invested to recruit new community police officers - the equivalent of two new officers for each council ward.

It comes as part of a plan to take a "public health approach" to tackling knife crime, which will see health professionals, social workers and teachers working alongside the police to identify and help those at risk of getting involved in violent crime.

Prisons will also see a significant transformation through the recruitment of 2,000 new prison officers who will be provided with extra training and education.

The party also included their previous commitment to decriminalising cannabis with an estimate that £1.5bn could be raised through duty and savings on policing costs.

Travel

Frequent fliers will be hit with with a new passenger levy which the party claims could raise almost £5bn-a-year in extra revenue, but those taking one or two international flights per year will be exempt from the hike and could see their costs fall.

Commuters and season ticket holders will have fares frozen for five years while the party invests in the rail network. The party said the freeze will be in place until they expand the network and move to ultra-low emission technologies.

Housing

The manifesto includes a pledge to build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year with funding from a £130bn capital infrastructure budget.

Social renters struggling to pay for deposits will also benefit from a new Rent to Own scheme which would see tenants increasing stakes in their properties with each rental payment, before eventually owning the property outright after 30 years.

Local Government

The party also plans to devolve a range of new powers to local authorities as part of a £50bn scheme to boost regional development.

Councils will be handed full control over Right to Buy schemes, and will be given the authority to raise council tax by up to 500% on second homes. They would also have the ability to implement a stamp duty increase for foreign individuals purchasing multiple properties.

Meanwhile, the party would create a statutory duty on all local authorities to develop a Zero Carbon Strategy, including plans for transport, land use and local energy.