In the wake of the recession, the world has changed significantly and many of the old assumptions no longer apply. Given the state of public finances it would be dishonest for any party to go into the election with a long shopping list of pledges and not say how they can be afforded. What we need now is clear, open and honest policies to rectify the mistakes of Labour and avoid the Con of the Conservatives. I beleive that the Liberal Demcorats can do this and below sets out some of the reasons why.
Britain is facing very difficult challenges and will do for many years: young people out of work, broken politics, climate change spinning out of control, poor housing, civil liberties under threat.
- Labour’s time is up and they’ve let you down. The Liberal Democrats are the only strong progressive voice in British politics. We have already taken over from Labour as the leading progressive party in the battle of ideas.
- The Tories simply believe that it’s their turn. They just say what they think people want to hear. You don’t know where they really stand. Arrogance without conviction. They offer phoney change, not real change.
- The Lib Dems have been straight about the difficult choices we face, even when it hasn’t been popular to speak out: on Iraq, the environment, the looming recession, Northern Rock, political reform, the Speaker, the Ghurkhas, Trident and Afghanistan. On all these issues and more, we’ve been prepared to speak out when others have remained silent.
- That’s how we’re different from the others. That’s why we offer different, straight answers: fairer taxes, a country fit for all children, green jobs, a total clean-up of
The next government will have to make hard choices about spending. The Liberal Democrats would go about making those choices to:
- Create a sustainable economy: Putting people back to work through investment in green economic growth; breaking up banks so that the risks they take never again jeopardise the whole economy.
- Build a fair society: The best start for every child – so that young people do not pay the price for mistakes made today, through smaller class sizes, extra help for children struggling at school, cutting student debt, training and jobs for young people.
- Clean up Politics: Cleaning up
Westminster – to stop Labour and Tories going back to business as usual after the expenses scandal; Fair votes – so that every vote counts and safe seats are a thing of the past.
And we will cut taxes for people on middle and low incomes – so that no one pays a penny on income tax on the first £10K they earn – paid for from green taxes and closing the loopholes for the very rich.