Everything you need to know before voting for The Liberal Democrats

In the run up to the general election, The Student analyses the main parties’ manifestos, allowing you to make an informed choice on the issues that matter most when polling opens on June 8.

Launched on the May 17, the Liberal Democratic manifesto stands true to the party’s main themes of the 2017 General Election campaign: fighting an extreme Brexit, speaking against a second independence referendum in Scotland, legalising cannabis and further investing in social and health care.

Below are just some of the Liberal Democrat’s policies on key issues during this campaign.

Brexit

  • Ensuring that young people in Britain have the same opportunities for education and work across the European Union.
  • Continuing the freedom of movement of citizens throughout Britain and countries in the EU.
  • Protecting the rights of EU citizens staying in the UK and British citizens in EU countries.
  • Retaining membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union, allowing trade to continue minimum disruption after the Brexit vote.

Education

  • Tripling the Early Years Pupil Premium – upping the amount to £1000, allowing younger children the best start in life.
  • Invest a further £7 billion in education.
  • Oppose the opening of new grammar schools, allowing local authorities complete control over their schools.
  • Reinstate maintenance grants for less wealthy students to allow every child, regardless of their financial means, to have the opportunity to undertake further education.

Healthcare

  • Increasing income tax by 1p per person, raising £6 billion, and spending the funds on the NHS and social care.
  • Decreasing the waiting times for those waiting for mental health services.
  • Integrating health and social care to limit the cost for older people by providing services at home rather than in hospital.

Economy

  • Strengthening public services, such as the NHS, through the 1p rise in income tax.
  • Elimination of the deficit by 2020, from then only borrowing to invest in the country.
  • Investing £100 billion in house building, transport infrastructure, schools, hospitals and more to support a growing population.
  • End the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay increases.
  • Prevent employers from abusing 0 hours contracts.

 Environment

  • Introducing an Air Quality Plan to reduce pollution.
  • Four million properties will receive insulation retrofits by 2022.
  • Passing a Zero Carbon Britain act that aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
  • Reform of agricultural subsidies to ensure that British farming stays competitive.

 Defence

  • Making a positive case for immigration.
  • Reducing hate crimes by defining them as aggravated offences, resulting in harsher sentences.
  • Expanding Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement scheme to allow 50,000 refugees over the course of the next Parliament.
  • Retaining the European Arrest Warrant, membership of Europol and maintaining access to EU information databases.
  • Committing 2 per cent of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product to defence spending.

International Relations

  • Fighting the rise of nationalism.
  • Spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on aid to defend human rights, prevent violent conflicts and reduce poverty.
  • Suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia and create a public register of arms brokers.

After the 2015 General Election, the Liberal Democrats lost a massive 49 seats, holding onto just eight seats after their part in the coalition government with the Conservatives. After a change in leadership, the party will be hoping to regain some of these losses but they have ruled out the potential of a coalition with either of the two main parties.

Image: The Liberal Democrats

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