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Manifesto Watch – Liberal Democrats

10 June 2024
| by Field Team

It’s manifesto week and the Liberal Democrats have taken centre stage today, unveiling their vision for the UK’s future with a 117-page document brimming with promises and proposals aimed at tackling the nation’s issues head-on.

Sir Ed Davey declared it a manifesto to ‘save the NHS’, with a £9 billion pledge at the heart of his plans. Commitments include boosting cancer survival rates, recruiting 8,000 more GPs, and introducing free personal care for the elderly and disabled, a matter very close to Davey who has talked at length about caring for his disabled son during the campaign. The plan will be partially funded through increases to capital gains tax for high earners.

The Liberal Democrats are also championing environmental causes this election. Their flagship energy pledge is to achieve net zero by 2045 and generate 90% of the UK’s electricity from renewables by 2030 via a rooftop solar revolution. A further promise is to lower energy bills through measures such as increasing efficiency, investing in renewables, and reforming the energy market. Their aim - to create a more sustainable and affordable energy system for the UK.

Turning to housing, the Lib Dems have vowed to tackle housing failures by ramping up home construction and delivering a fair deal for renters. This includes promising to increase the building of new homes to 380,000 a year across the UK, with 150,000 of those being social homes annually. They also aim to ban no-fault evictions, make three-year tenancies the default, and abolish residential leaseholds. These measures have been designed by Sir Ed and his team to provide stability and security for UK renters while also addressing the increasing shortage of affordable housing.

Over in the world of transport, the Lib Dems have proposed making the switch to electric vehicles easier and freezing rail fares while significantly electrifying Britain’s rail network. Their manifesto sets out a key priority of establishing a new Railway Agency, a public body aimed at joining up and reforming the rail industry. Additionally, they pledge to extend the electrification of the rail network, including freight routes, and invest in zero-carbon rail technology. Linking fares for all public transport is also planned, allowing the creation of a daily travel spending cap.

Beyond these core sector policies, the Lib Dems have also offered a few pre-approved crowd pleasing ideas like free TV Premier League matches.

In short, it’s a long manifesto – very likely the longest of the three main platforms to be set out this week. Davey’s hope is to win enough Conservative seats, and for Starmer to fall short enough in Scotland and elsewhere, for this is a platform for coalition negotiations with Labour.

(Photo provided by the Independent)

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