Build a Brighter Future
Here are some key points from the Liberal Democrat Manifesto.
Staying in the European Union will secure a £50 billion Remain Bonus, with the economy two per cent larger by 2024-25. We can invest that bonus in our schools, and on tackling in-work poverty and inequality.
We will deliver a ten-year emergency programme to cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially straightaway and phase out emissions from the remaining hard-to-treat sectors by 2045 at the latest. By 2030 we will generate 80 per cent of our electricity from renewables and cut energy bills and emissions by insulating homes, prioritising bringing 3.5 million households out of fuel poverty by 2025.
We will increase teacher numbers by 20,000 and let them get on with their jobs, instead of worrying about budgeting for the basics.
A Liberal Democrat government will set up a new Skills Wallet for every adult, giving people £10,000 to spend on approved education and training courses to gain the right skills for the jobs of the future.
Over the next Parliament, a Liberal Democrat government will invest £11 billion in mental health to expand access to therapies and increase the number of psychiatrists and specialist mental health practitioners. We will make mental health services 24-hour, including placing mental health liaison teams in all hospitals so that those facing a mental health crisis are not put in police cells.
The Liberal Democrats Plan for a stronger economy
- Investing £130 billion in infrastructure – upgrading our transport and energy systems, building schools, hospitals and homes, empowering all regions and nations of the UK and developing the climate-friendly infrastructure of the future.
- Enabling an adaptable, future-focused workforce – empowering individuals through new Skills Wallets worth £10,000 for every individual.
- Introducing a well-being budget and basing decisions for government spending on what will improve wellbeing as well as on economic and fiscal indicators.
Investment for the Future across the UK
- Give local authorities and regions the power to make decisions about their areas.
- Introduce a capital £50 billion Regional Re-balancing Programme for Infrastructure spend across the nations and regions of the UK, with local and devolved authorities given a say in how it is used, reinforced by a Just Transition Fund to support communities negatively affected by policies to tackle the climate emergency.
- Continue to champion investment in the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, putting significant capital resources into infrastructure projects across these regions
- Set an ambitious National Industrial Strategy to transform the economy and develop Local Industrial Strategies within it that incentivise clustering by businesses and universities with particular specialisations.
- Work with the major banks to fund the creation of a local banking sector dedicated to meeting the needs of local small and medium-sized businesses.
- Expand the British Business Bank to perform a more central role in the economy, to ensure that viable small and medium-sized businesses have access to capital, even when the rest of the commercial banking system can’t provide it.
- Support the tourist industry which is vital for many local economies.
- Significant investment in public transport, including converting the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035, and a continued commitment to HS2, Crossrail 2 and other major new strategic rail routes.
- A programme of installing hyper-fast, fibre-optic broadband across the UK – with a particular focus on connecting rural areas.
- New direct spending on housebuilding to help build 300,000 homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes.
- An emergency ten-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all the UK’s buildings, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.
- Capital investment in schools and hospitals to support capacity increases and modernisation.
- £5 billion of initial capital for a new Green Investment Bank, using public money to attract private investment for zero-carbon priorities.
UK2050: Our Vision for an Innovation-Led Economy
- Increase national spending on research and development to three per cent of GDP. We will publish a roadmap to achieve this ambition by the earliest date possible, via an interim target of 2.4 per cent of GDP by no later than 2027.
- Support innovation, with a goal of doubling innovation spending across the economy.
- Increase the Strength in Places Fund, to boost research and development outside the ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford-Cambridge-London.
- Build on the industrial strategy developed by Liberal Democrat ministers in government, working with sectors which are critical to the UK’s ability to trade internationally, creating more ‘Catapult’ innovation and technology centres and backing private investment in particular in zero-carbon and environmental innovation.
- Develop the skilled workforce needed to support this growth by introducing a new two-year visa for students to work after graduation and a major expansion of high-quality apprenticeships including Higher Apprenticeships, backed up by new sector-led National Colleges.
- Develop a national skills strategy for key sectors, including zero-carbo technologies, to help match skills and people; our new Skills Wallets will allow people to retrain and upskill when they need to. (also see Opportunities Throughout Life section, p.25)
- Reform building standards to ensure that all new homes built from 2022 have full connectivity to ultra-fast broadband and are designed to enable the use of smart technologies.
- Continue to support investment in new UK digital start-ups by reforming the British Business Bank’s support for venture capital funds to enable it to help funds ‘crowd in’ new backers rather than acting as a funder of last resort.
- Support growth in the creative industries, including video gaming, by continuing to support the Creative Industries Council and tailored industry-specific tax support, promoting creative skills, supporting modern and flexible patent, copyright and licensing rules, and addressing the barriers to finance faced by small creative businesses.
- Create creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK.
Harnessing the Benefits of New Technology
- Support the UK’s diverse, inclusive tech sector by teaching core skills such as logic, verbal reasoning and creativity in schools, and by reforming immigration rules – including enabling industry bodies to sponsor work visas.
- Support the growth of new jobs and businesses in the tech sector by allowing companies to claim R&D tax credits against the cost of purchasing datasets and cloud computing, simplifying the regulatory landscape and speeding up regulatory change.
- Ensure that new technologies are used in ethical and responsible ways.
- Develop a mechanism to allow the public to share in the profits made by tech companies in the use of their data.
- Empower consumers and ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of new technology, by setting a UK-wide target for digital literacy and requiring all products to provide a short, clear version of their terms and conditions, setting out the key facts as they relate to individuals’ data and privacy.
- Enable people whose jobs are affected by automation to gain new skills and retrain with our new Skills Wallets, so that they can work in the good, well-paying jobs of the future.
A Better Deal for Entrepreneurs and Small Business
- Create a new ‘start-up allowance’ to help those starting a new business with their living costs in the crucial first weeks of their business.
- Support fast-growing businesses seeking to scale up, through the provision of mentoring support.
- Prioritise small and medium-sized businesses in the rollout of hyper-fast 20 Liberal Democrat Election Manifesto 2019 broadband.
- Require all government agencies and contractors and companies with more than 250 employees to sign up to the prompt payment code, making it enforceable.
- Ensure that the company at the top of a supply chain cannot abuse its position to shore up its own cashflow at the expense of smaller suppliers.
- Expand the activities of the British Business Bank, enabling it to perform a more central role in the economy by tackling the shortage of equity capital for growing firms and providing long-term capital for medium-sized businesses.
- Provide a supportive framework to develop social enterprises – businesses with a social focus rather than a profit motive.
- Expand the rights and benefits available to those in insecure forms of employment, such as offering parental leave and pay to the self-employed.
- Finance the transformation of town centres by expanding the Future High Street Fund.
- Help protect our high streets and town centres by scrapping the rule which allows developers to convert offices and shops into residential properties without planning permission.
- Encourage employers to promote employee ownership by giving staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares, to be hel in trust for the benefit of employees.
- Strengthen worker participation in decision-making, including staff representation on remuneration committees, and require all UK-listed companies and all private companies with more than 250 employees to have at least one employee representative on their boards with the same legal duties and responsibilities as other directors.
- Introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights – requiring companies, financial institutions and public sector agencies to exercise due diligence in avoiding specified activities such as child labour or modern slavery, or specified products such as commodities produced with deforestation, in their operations and supply chains, and to report on their actions.
- Reform fiduciary duty and company purpose rules to ensure that all large companies have a formal statement of corporate purpose, including considerations such as employee welfare, environmental standards, community benefit and ethical practice, alongside benefit to shareholders, and that they report formally on the wider impact of the business on society and the environment.
- Encourage new forms of incorporation and a diversity of business types, such as for large firms contracting with the public sector or providing essential utilities and for smaller firms wanting a dual purpose to be profit-making and have a positive impact on society, workers, communities and the environment.
- Require binding and public votes of shareholders on executive pay policies.
- Extend the scope of the existing ‘public interest’ test when considering approvals for takeovers of large or strategically significant companies by overseas-based owners to recognise the benefits to the UK economy, workers and consumers of protecting UK companies from speculative or short-term interests.
- Restore Corporation Tax to 20 per cent – reversing the Conservatives’ reduction of this tax to 17 per cent – and keep the rate is stable with a predictable future path.
- Taxing income from capital more fairly compared to income from work by abolishing the separate Capital Gains Tax-free allowance and instead taxing capital gains and salaries through a single allowance.
- Simplify business taxation to lower administration costs – supporting smaller companies – and reduce opportunities for tax avoidance.
- Replace Business Rates in England with a Commercial Landowner Levy based solely on the land value of commercial sites rather than their entire capital value, thereby stimulating investment, and shifting the burden of taxation from tenants to landowners.
- Take tough action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance especially by international tech giants and large monopolies, including by:
- End retrospective tax changes like the loan charge brought in by the Conservatives, so that individuals and firms are treated fairly, and review recent proposals to change the IR35 rules.
- Scrap the Marriage Tax Allowance.
Future of Work
- Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across all sectors. We will pay this Living Wage in all central government departments and their agencies, and encourage other public sector employers to do likewise.
- Establish a powerful new Worker Protection Enforcement Authority to protect those in precarious work.
- Change the law so that flexible working is open to all from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise jobs accordingly, unless there are significant business reasons why that is not possible.
- Modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the ‘gig economy’.
- Strengthen the ability of unions to represent workers effectively in the modern
Opportunities Throughout Life
- Introduce new Skills Wallets for every adult in England, giving them £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives:
- Expand the apprenticeship levy into a wider ‘Skills and Training Levy’ to helpprepare the UK’s workforce for the economic challenges ahead with 25 per cent of the funds raised by the levy going into a ‘Social Mobility Fund’ targeted at areas with the greatest skill needs.
- Develop National Colleges as national centres of expertise for key sectors, such as renewable energy, to deliver the high-level vocational skills that businesses need
- Identify and seek to solve skills gaps such as the lack of advanced technicians by expanding higher vocational training like foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.
- Use the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in services and tackle inequality, giving a major boost to schools and combatting in-work poverty.
- Ensure that key services are properly funded and responsibly manage their budgets so that they rise year-on-year.
- End the continual erosion of local government funding and commit to a real increase in local government funding throughout the Parliament.
- Ensure overall national debt continues to decline as a share of national income. l Protect the independence of the Bank of England and keep the inflation target of two per cent.
- Introduce a wellbeing budget, following the example of New Zealand – basing decisions on what will improve wellbeing as well as on economic and fiscal indicators.
- Appoint a Minister for Wellbeing, who will make an annual statement to Parliament on the main measures of wellbeing and the effects of government policies on them.
- Introduce wellbeing impact assessments for all government policies
- Prioritise government spending on the things that matter most to people’swellbeing – both now and in the future – including:
- l Ensure that the environment is protected for future generations with clean air to breathe and urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.
Education and skills
- Providing free, high-quality childcare for children of working parents from nine months.
- Reversing cuts to school funding, employing an extra 20,000 schoolteachers, and clearing the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings.
- Ending teaching to the test by scrapping mandatory SATs, and replacing existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) of schools with a broader set of indicators.
The Best Start in Life
- Offer free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four and children aged between nine and 24 months where their parents or guardians are in work: 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year.
- Increase the funding for these free hours to cover the actual cost of nursery provision.
- Invest £1 billion a year in Children’s Centres to support families and tackle inequalities in children’s health, development and life chances.
- Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium (to £1,000) to give extra help to disadvantaged children who are at risk of falling behind from the very beginning of their education.
- Require all Early Years settings to have a training programme for staff, with the majority of staff working with children to have a relevant Early Years qualification or be working towards one.
- In the long run, each Early Years setting should have at least one person qualified to graduate level.
- Introduce ‘baby boxes’ in England, as advocated by the Royal College of Midwives, to provide babies and parents with essential items to help with health and development.
Schools that Prepare Children for Life
- Reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes, restoring them to 2015 levels per pupil with an emergency cash injection.
- Invest to clear the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings so we have schools that are safe places to learn in.
- End the crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities funding by allocating additional cash to local authorities to halve the amount that schools pay towards the cost of a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.
- Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE.
- Establish an independent body of education experts who will use the most up-to-date educational evidence to oversee any future curriculum changes. It would take these decisions out of the hands of politicians and put an end to unnecessary and often politically motivated changes, which disrupt children’s learning and place an extra burden on teachers.
- Reduce unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and end ‘teaching to the test’, by scrapping existing mandatory SATs and replacing them with a formal, moderated teacher assessment at the end of each phase and some lighter-touch testing.
- Give parents school performance measures they can trust, by replacing existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) with a broader set of indicators including information about pupils’ and teachers’ wellbeing, as well as academic attainment.
- Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should take place every three years and should consider a broader range of factors including the social and emotional development of children, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils. Independent schools should be subject to the same inspection regime.
- Improve the quality of vocational education, including skills for entrepreneurship and self-employment, and improve careers advice and links with employers in schools and colleges.
- Protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects, including by abolishing the English Baccalaureate as a performance measure.
- Teach the core skills required for children to flourish in the modern world, including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity.
- Give local authorities with responsibility for education the powers and resources to act as Strategic Education Authorities for their area, including responsibility for places planning, exclusions, administering admissions including in-year admissions, and SEND functions.
- Create a level playing field by requiring MATs to undergo external inspection and allowing local authorities to open new Community Schools where needed.
- Oppose any future expansion of grammar schools and devolve all capital funding for new school spaces to local authorities.
- Raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers’ pay by at least three per cent per year throughout the parliament.
- Introduce a clear and properly funded entitlement to genuinely high-quality professional development for all teachers – rising to the level of 50 hours per year by 2025. We will also give extra training to teachers who are required to teach subjects at secondary level where they themselves do not have a post A-level qualification.
Children and families
- Extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs.
- Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling.
- Ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approache to mental well-being.
- Give schools a statutory duty to promote the wellbeing of their pupils as part of the inspection framework.
- Tackle bullying in schools, including bullying on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression, by promoting pastoral leadership in schools and delivering high-quality sex and relationships education.
- Require inclusive school uniform policies that are gender-neutral and flexible enough to suit different budgets, and provide training for school staff on how to review and improve their uniform policies.
- Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects.
- Include teaching about how to use social media responsibly in our ’curriculum for life‘ and provide advice and support for parents on how to help their children protect themselves online.
- Reverse the damage to universities posed by Brexit and related uncertainty by stopping Brexit and keeping the UK at the heart of the EU.
- Invest an extra £1 billion in Further Education funding, including by refunding colleges for the VAT they pay.
- Help children from poorer families to remain in education and training beyond the age of 16 by introducing a ‘Young People’s Premium’. This would be based on the same eligibility criteria as the Pupil Premium, but a portion of it would be paid directly to the young person aged 16-18.
- Raise standards in universities by strengthening the Office for Students, to make sure all students receive a high-quality education.
- Require universities to make mental health services accessible to their students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation.
- Reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students, ensuring that living costs are not a barrier to disadvantaged young people studying at university.
- Establish a review of higher education finance in the next parliament to consider any necessary reforms in the light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation and quality, and make sure there are no more retrospective raising of rates or selling-off of loans to private companies.
- Ensure that all universities work to widen participation by disadvantaged and underrepresented groups across the sector, prioritising their work with students in schools and colleges, and require every university to be transparent about selection criteria.
- An emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.
- Investing in renewable power so that at least 80 per cent of UK electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 – and banning fracking for good.
- Protecting nature and the countryside, tackling biodiversity loss and planting 60 million trees a year to absorb carbon, protect wildlife and improve health.
- Investing in public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring that all new cars are electric by 2030.
- Require all companies registered in the UK and listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change and to report on their implementation; and establish a general corporate duty of care for the environment and human rights (also see Better Business section p.21
- Regulate financial services to encourage green investments, including requiring pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and creating new powers for regulators to act if banks and other investors are not managing climate risks properly.
- Establish a Department for Climate Change and Natural Resources, appoint a cabinet-level Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to coordinate government-wide action to make the economy sustainable resource-efficient and zero-carbon, and require every government agency to account for its contribution towards meeting climate targets
- Create a statutory duty on all local authorities to produce a Zero Carbon Strategy, including plans for local energy, transport and land use, and devolve powers and funding to enable every council to implement it
Warm Homes and Lower Energy Bills
- Cut energy bills, end fuel poverty by 2025 and reduce emissions from buildings, including by providing free retrofits for low-income homes, piloting a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, graduating Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property and reducing VAT on home insulation.
- Empower councils to develop community energy-saving projects, including delivering housing energy efficiency improvements street by street, which cuts costs.
- Require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard (where as much energy is generated on-site, through renewable sources, as is used), by 2021, rising to a more ambitious (‘Passivhaus’) standard by 2025.
- Increase minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements.
- Adopt a Zero-Carbon Heat Strategy, including reforming the Renewable Heat Incentive, requiring the phased installation of heat pumps in homes and businesses off the gas grid, and piloting projects to determine the best future mix of zero-carbon heating solutions.
Green Industry, Green Jobs and Green Products
- Reduce emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
- Provide more advice to companies on cutting emissions, support the development of regional industrial clusters for zero-carbon innovation and increase the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.
- Expand the market for green products and services with steadily higher green criteria in public procurement policy.
- End support from UK Export Finance for fossil fuel-related activities, and press for higher environmental standards for export credit agencies throughout the OECD.
- Banning non-recyclable single-use plastics and replace them with affordable alternatives, aiming for their complete elimination within three years, as a first step towards ending the ‘throwaway society’ culture and an ambition to end plastic waste exports by 2030.
- Benefitting consumers through better product design for repairability, reuse and recycling, including extending the forthcoming EU ‘right to repair’ legislation for consumer goods, so helping small repair businesses and community groups combat ‘planned obsolescence’.
- Introducing legally binding targets for reducing the consumption of key natural resources and other incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.
- Extending deposit return schemes for all food and drink bottles and containers, working with the devolved administrations to ensure consistency across the UK.
- Establishing a statutory waste recycling target of 70 per cent in England, extend separate food waste collections to at least 90 per cent of homes by 2024, and strengthen incentives to reduce packaging and reduce waste sent to landfill and incineration.
Saving the countryside
- Introduce a Nature Act to restore the natural environment through setting legally binding near-term and long-term targets for improving water, air, soil and biodiversity, and supported by funding streams of at least £18 billion over five years.
- Combat climate change, and benefit nature and people by coordinating the planting of 60 million trees a year and introducing requirements for the greater use of sustainably harvested wood in construction.
- Invest in large scale restoration of peatlands, heathland, native woodlands, saltmarshes, wetlands and coastal waters, helping to absorb carbon, protect against floods, improve water quality and protect habitats, including throughpiloting ‘rewilding’ approaches.
- Reduce basic agricultural support payments to the larger recipients and redeploy the savings to support the public goods that come from effective land management, including restoring nature and protecting the countryside, preventing flooding and combating climate change through measures to increase soil carbon and expand native woodland.
- Introduce a National Food Strategy, including the use of public procurement policy, to promote the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable and affordable food and cut down on food waste.
- Support producers by broadening the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator and supporting them with access to markets.
- Significantly increase the amount of accessible green space, including protecting up to a million acres, completing the coastal path, exploring a ‘right to roam’ for waterways and creating a new designation of National Nature Parks.
- Give the Local Green Space designation the force of law.
- Protect and restore England’s lakes, rivers and wetlands, including through reform of water management and higher water efficiency standards, and establish a ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas covering at least 50 per cent of UK waters by 2030, in partnership with UK overseas territories.
- Create a new ‘British Overseas Ecosystems Fund’ for large-scale environmental restoration projects in the UK Overseas Territories and sovereign bases, home to 94 per cent of our unique wildlife.
- Establish a £5 billion fund for flood prevention and climate adaptation over the course of the parliament to improve flood defences, and introduce high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood risk areas.
- Ensure that sustainability lies at the heart of fisheries policy, rebuilding depleted fish stocks to achieve their former abundance. Fishers, scientists and conservationists should all be at the centre of a decentralised and regionalised fisheries management system. Immigration policy should also be flexible enough to ensure that both the catching and processing sectors have access to the labour they need.
- Increase the budget for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ensuring that agencies such as Natural England and the Environment Agency are properly funded.
- Investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways to enable people to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment.
- l Placing a far higher priority on encouraging walking and cycling – the healthiest forms of transport.
- l Accelerating the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – cars, buses and trains – through taxation, subsidy and regulation.
Clean and green
- Accelerate the rapid take-up of electric vehicles by reforming vehicle taxation, cutting VAT on EVs to 5 per cent and increasing the rate of installation of charging points, including residential on-street points and ultra-fast chargers at service stations. We will ensure that, by 2030, every new car and small van sold is electric.
- Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency. The Act will enshrine the legal right to unpolluted airwherever you live.
- Extend Ultra-Low Emission Zones to ten more towns and cities in England and ensure that all private hire vehicles and new buses licensed to operate in urban areas are ultra-low-emission or zero-emission vehicles by 2025; we will provide £2 billion to support this transformation.
- Shift more freight from road to rail, including electrifying lines leading from major ports as an urgent priority, and amend the current HGV road user levy to take account of carbon emissions.
- Support innovation in zero-emission technologies, including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, supplementing government funding with a new Clean Air Fund from industry.
- Reduce the climate impact of flying by reforming the taxation of international flights to focus on those who fly the most, while reducing costs for those who take one or two international return flights per year, placing a moratorium on the development of new runways (net) in the UK, opposing any expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, and introducing a zero-carbon fuels blending requirement for domestic flights.
- Give new powers to local authorities and communities to improve transport in their areas, including the ability to introduce network-wide ticketing, like in London.
- Implement, in cooperation with local authorities, light rail schemes for trams and tram-trains where these are appropriate solutions to public transport requirements.
- Restore bus routes and add new routes where there is local need; we will provide £4.5 billion over five years for this programme.
- Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget.
- Build on the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund established by the Liberal Democrats when in government, and workplace travel plans, to reduce the number of cars – particularly single-occupancy cars – used for commuting, and encourage the development of car-sharing schemes and car clubs and autonomous vehicles for public use.
- Amend planning rules to promote sustainable transport and land use.
- Freeze rail fares for commuters and season ticket holders for a parliament, while we fix our railways. Extend Britain’s rail network, improve stations, reopen smaller stations and restore twin-track lines to major routes.
- Convert the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035, and provide funding for light rail and trams.
- Support High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, East-West Rail and Crossrail 2, but ensure far tighter financial controls and increased accountability to ensure that these projects are value for money, and address problems with implementation to ensure that HS2 opens as early as possible to meet our decarbonisation goals while minimising the destruction of precious UK habitats and woodland.
- Start a revolution in rail franchising by opening up the bidding process to public sector companies, local or combined authorities, not-for-profits and mutuals – which have the potential to deliver much better services than private operators.
- Build into new rail franchise agreements a stronger focus on customers, including investment in new stations, lines and modern trains.
- Create a new Railways Agency to oversee the operations of the railway network, removing the Department for Transport from day-to-day decision-making.
- Be far more proactive in sanctioning and ultimately sacking train operators if they 48 Liberal Democrat Election Manifesto 2019 fail to provide a high-quality public service to their customers.
- Improve the experience of people who rely on the railways for work by investing in commuter routes and the integration of rail, bus and cycle routes.
- Fix the broken fares and ticketing system so that it provides better value for money.
- Improve disabled access to public transport via the Access for All programme.
- Enshrine the principle of animal sentience in UK law to ensure that due regard is paid to animal welfare in policymaking.
- Introduce stronger penalties for animal cruelty offences, increasing the maximum sentencing from six months to five years, and ensure that the National Wildlife Crime Unit is properly funded.
- Ban the sale of real fur, end the use of primates as pets, clamp down on illegal pet imports and establish an independent regulatory body for horse welfare to prevent the abuse and avoidable deaths of racehorses.
- Improve standards of animal health and welfare in agriculture, including a ban on caged hens, and promote the responsible use of antimicrobials.
- Develop safe, effective, humane, and evidence-based ways of controlling bovine TB, including by investing to produce workable vaccines.
- Minimise the use of animals in scientific experimentation, including by funding research into alternatives.
- Work within the EU to ensure that future trade agreements require high environmental and animal welfare standards, and legislate to ban the importing of hunting trophies where the hunting does not contribute to environmental protection.
- Raising £7 billion a year in additional revenue by putting 1p on Income Tax, with this money to be ringfenced for spending on the NHS and social care.
- Transforming mental health by treating it with the same urgency as physical health.
- Reforming the Health and Social Care Act as recommended by the NHS, to make the NHS work in a more efficient and joined-up way, and to end the automatic tendering of services.
- Raise £7 billion a year additional revenue which will be ring-fenced to be spent only on NHS and social care services. This revenue will be generated from a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax (this revenue will be neither levied nor spent in Scotland.)
- Use this cash to relieve the crisis in social care, tackle urgent workforce shortages, and to invest in mental health and prevention services. This represents the most efficient and effective way of spending these extra resources – ensuring they will have the greatest impact on the quality of care patients receive.
- Also use £10 billion of our capital fund to make necessary investments in equipment, hospitals, community, ambulance and mental health services buildings, to bring them into the 21st century.
- Commission the development of a dedicated, progressive Health and Care Tax, offset by other tax reductions, on the basis of wide consultation and extensive engagement with the public. The intention is to bring together spending on both services into a collective budget and set out transparently, on people’s payslips, what the Government is spending on health and social care.
- Establish a cross-party health and social care convention that builds on the existing body of work from previous conventions, select committees and the 2018 citizens’ assembly to reach agreement on the long-term sustainable funding of a joined-up system of health and social care. We will invite patients’ groups, professionals, the public and the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be a part of this work. Introducing a cap on the cost of care as provided for in the Care Act but not so far delivered by the Conservatives would be a key starting point for Liberal Democrat participants.
- Introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring body for health and care, similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility. This would report every three years on how much money the system needs to deliver safe and sustainable treatment and care, and how much is needed to meet the costs of projected increases in demand and any new initiatives – to ensure any changes in services are properlycosted and affordable.
- Ring-fence funding from the 1p Income Tax rise to provide additional investment in mental health.
- Introduce further mental health maximum waiting time standards, starting with children’s services, services for people with eating disorders, and severe and enduring conditions. We want to ensure that all children and young people with a diagnosable condition receive NHS treatment (currently only 35 per cent do).
- Increase access to a broader range and number of clinically effective talking therapies so that hundreds of thousands more people can receive this support, with equal access for older people, BAME and LGBT+ patients, and people with autism or learning disabilities.
- Make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as part of our commitment to review the entire schedule of exemptions for prescription charges, which has not been fully updated since 1968 and contains many anomalies.
This is just a few points taken from the Lib Dem Manifesto, please view or download the document following the link below.