General Elections Party Profiles Politics

Liberal Democrats

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Party Slogan: Change that works for you, building a fairer Britain
2005 Parliamentary Elections: 62 seats

It seems unlikely that Nick Clegg, leader of The Liberal Democrats, will be elected Prime Minister on May 6th. He does however hold an influential role in which party does obtain power in the House of Commons. In the high possibility of a hung parliament, the Labour or Conservative party may need to work with the Liberal Democrats to obtain an overall majority. The Liberal Democrats have been reluctant to state which party it would prefer to work with, and has instead focused on its own ambitious election manifesto. Vince Cable predicted the financial crisis and ensured the Liberal Democrat manifesto included all the sums to show that their economic policies added up. All their policies aim at creating a fairer British society with Nick Clegg proud in stating his party have "a serious manifesto for serious times".

Key Policy Overview

Tax:





  • Aim to raise the income tax threshold (the level at which you start paying tax on your income) from the current £6,475 to £10,000. This would result in low and middle income earners being on average £700 better off, and remove 3.6million from income tax altogether. A variety of measures have been highlighted to pay for this, including the introduction of a 'mansion tax', a 1% levy on homes worth more than £2million.




  • No promises against future tax rises.






Education:





  • No cuts in education spending planned. £2.5 billion has been promised for disadvantaged children in all parts of the country. This money is also to be used to cut class sizes.




  • One key 2005 policy that has been modified is the scrapping of student tuition fees. The aim is to phase out tuition fees over 6 years, with students in their final year of study having their fees scrapped immediately. The Labour target of 50% of school leavers going to university will also be scrapped.





Economic Reform:





  • £15billion of annual savings have been earmarked, helped through scrapping ID cards and the controversial Trident nuclear submarines.




  • Will raise the state pension each year by the rate of inflation or level of earnings, whichever is higher.




  • Also want banks to be broken up into smaller divisions, with those that took government support to repay the state. Banker's bonuses above £2,500 will have to be paid in shares.





Clean-Up Politics and Electoral Reform:





  • Would allow electorate to sack their MPs if they broke rules, and limit private political party donations to £10,000





  • Want voting rights from age 16.




  • Also aim to introduce electoral reform by introducing proportional representation, which would favour the smaller parties.





York Outer Candidate

The Liberal Democrat candidate for this new constituency is Madeleine Kirk. Madeleine has been a local Councilor since 1991 and has a successful history in campaigning for local issues. She has brought up both her children in the area, and currently lives in Strensall. She holds a number of positions on local boards, from schools to the York Theatre Royal. Madeleine is a member of York Hospital's Board of Governors, and her top priority as an MP would be York's local NHS services.

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