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All of the Liberal Democrats general election manifesto pledges so far

The Liberal Democrats are heading into the general election with the goal of taking over numerous Conservative seats in the South of England, with polling suggesting they could quadruple their MPs.

The party has begun their campaign with several trademark stunts and photo opportunities, which have included unveiling a big orange bus and the party’s leader Sir Ed Davey repeatedly falling into Lake Windermere.

Their main pledge to voters has long been to bring in a “fair deal” which includes broader promises like a “prosperous economy”, a “flourishing environment”, good access to public services and a “truly fair democracy”, as well as strengthening the UK’s position on the global stage.

Here are all the key promises the Liberal Democrats have made that could form part of their general election manifesto.

Crime and justice

Restoring community policing:
The Lib Dems would restore proper community policing, by providing visible, trusted officers focused on preventing and solving crimes, particularly rape and other violent crime.

Investing in the criminal justice system:
The party promises to invest in the criminal justice system to tackle court case backlogs and ensure swift justice for victims and offenders.

Breaking the cycle of reoffending:
The Liberal Democrats would improve rehabilitation in prisons and upon release, as well as strengthen the supervision of offenders in the community to break the cycle of reoffending.

Implementing the Baroness Casey Review:
The party plans to require the home secretary, the mayor of London, and the Metropolitan Police commissioner to develop an urgent plan to implement the recommendations of the Baroness Casey Review.

Culture and media

Improving broadband connectivity:
The Liberal Democrats promise to ensure that efforts to enhance connectivity, particularly broadband and mobile coverage, prioritise reaching underserved areas first.

Protection of public broadcasters:
The Liberal Democrats plan to safeguard the BBC and Channel 4 as independent, publicly-owned, public service broadcasters.

Support for creative industries:
The Lib Dems would promote creative skills, address financial barriers for small businesses, and advocate for modern and flexible patent, copyright, and licensing rules.

Facilitation of artists’ travel:
The party promises to negotiate free and straightforward short-term travel arrangements for UK artists to perform in the EU and European artists to perform in the UK.

Regulating social media platforms:
The party plans to impose a statutory duty of care on social media platforms to prevent defined harms. They would introduce a digital bill of rights to safeguard online rights, including privacy and free expression.

Economy, tax and spending

Ending tax avoidance:
The party will ensure fair taxation by reversing tax cuts for big banks, abolishing the capital gains tax-free allowance, and tackling tax avoidance. They have also pledged to clamp down on tax avoidance, narrow the tax gap to help boost income for lower earners, and allocate more resources to HMRC to tackle tax fraud.

Ensuring fiscal responsibility:
The Lib Dems have promised to uphold fiscal responsibility by ensuring that day-to-day spending aligns with tax revenues over the medium term, with added flexibility during economic crises. They have pledged to do this while also “making the investments our country needs” in infrastructure.

Protecting flexible working:
The party would bring in legislation to ensure flexible working is available to all from day one in a job to help more people enter the job market and invest in skills development to address recruitment shortages.

Scrapping business rates:
To help the high street and boost local jobs, the Lib Dems would scrap business rates and replace them with a new levy on commercial property owners.

Establishing a green industrial strategy:
They would develop an industrial strategy to incentivise businesses to invest in clean technologies, fostering economic growth and job creation and also introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights in business operations and supply chains.

Giving parliament powers on trade policy:
The Lib Dems have called for Parliament to be given “real power” in setting UK trade policy by consulting on and signing off on negotiating mandates and trade agreements. They have also pledged to strengthening relationships with trade barriers and reducing trade barriers.

Upholding human rights in supply chain:
The party would introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights in business operations and supply chains, as well as ensuring the UK’s net zero commitments are central to international trade agreements and serve as the minimum negotiating position.

Addressing labor shortages and supporting science:
The Lib Dems would negotiate reciprocal deals for low-cost, fast-tracked work visas and support science, research, and innovation, particularly in zero-carbon technologies.

British leader of the Liberal Democrats party Ed Davey floats, after falling from a paddle board, at Lake Windermere in Windermere, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Sir Ed Davey recently fell from a paddle board while visiting Lake Windermere (Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters)

Education

Investing in education:
The Liberal Democrats promise to provide mental health professionals in every school and increase school and college funding per pupil above the rate of inflation every year. They also plan to invest extend free school meals, improve special educational needs provision, and appoint a cabinet minister for children and young people.

Improving access to further education:
The party would reinstate maintenance grants for disadvantaged university students. All adults would receive ÂŁ10,000 for education and training across their lives through Skills Wallets, and opportunities for young people to study abroad would be expanded by rejoining the Erasmus Plus programme.

Reviewing childcare costs:
The party wants to ensure that all parents can access childcare that is flexible, affordable and fair, including by reviewing the rates paid to providers for free hours to ensure they cover the actual costs of delivering high-quality childcare

Energy and environment

Bringing in a tougher windfall tax:
The party has proposed a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas super-profits to alleviate the cost of living and energy bills that goes further than the one overseen by the Tories.

Committing to net zero emissions:
The party has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and would significantly invest to ensure 80 per cent of UK electricity comes from renewables by 2030. It would also create a net zero delivery authority and empower local authorities to cut emissions, promote community energy, and mandate solar panels on new homes.

Ending sewage discharges:
The party promises to end sewage discharges by restructuring water companies into public benefit entities, prohibiting bonuses for water executives until sewage discharges cease, and replacing Ofwat with a robust new regulator empowered to prevent sewage dumps.

Protecting the natural environment:
The Liberal Democrats would set meaningful and binding targets to halt the decline of the natural environment and double nature by 2050. This includes doubling the size of the Protected Area Network, increasing the area of vital wildlife habitats, and doubling the abundance of species.

Planting more trees:
To help restore woodland habitats, the Lib Dems would plant at least 60 million trees annually to aid in reaching net zero.

Strengthening environmental protection:
The Lib Dems want to enhance the Office for Environmental Protection and allocate additional funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England to safeguard the environment.

Support for environmental initiatives:
The Liberal Democrats would properly support farmers in efforts to restore woodland and peatland, create new natural flood protections, and manage land for species recovery and carbon storage while continuing food production.

Support for family farming businesses:
The Liberal Democrats would ensure full payments to family farming businesses while expediting the rollout of better Environmental Land Management schemes. They would also increase the farming budget by ÂŁ1bn annually to promote nature-friendly farming and reduce food prices.

Defence, foreign and trade

Boosting Army funding and veteran support:
The party promises to cancel the Conservative Government’s cut to the Army budget.

Supporting UK-EU trade:
The party plans to advocate for British farmers by facilitating trade with European neighbours with minimal checks. This includes negotiating comprehensive veterinary and plant health agreements and ensuring access for UK food and animal products to the European market.

Maintaining high standards in trade deals:
The Lib Dems have committed to guaranteeing that all future trade agreements uphold high health, environmental, and animal welfare standards for food production to prevent unfair disadvantages for British farmers and food manufacturers. They plan to renegotiate the Australia and New Zealand trade agreements accordingly, with withdrawal as an option if these objectives cannot be met.

Protecting human rights in trade:
The Lib Dems would prioritise human rights in trade by banning imports from areas with egregious abuses, such as China’s Xinjiang region, and controlling arms exports to countries with poor human rights records.

Funding international development:
The party wants to restore the UK’s reputation as an international development superpower by reinstating the 0.7 per cent of national income target and re-establishing a Department for International Development.

Combatting financial corruption:
The party plans to halt oligarchs from corrupt regimes channelling their money through the UK by substantially increasing funding for the National Crime Agency.

Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds and local Liberal Democrat candidate David Chadwick (right) riding bokes during a visit to Knighton, Wales, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Wednesday May 29, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election LibDems. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire
Sir Ed Davey with Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds and local party candidate David Chadwick in Knighton, Wales while on the general election campaign trail (Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire)

Political reform

Capping political donations:
The Liberal Democrats would cap donations to political parties at £10,000 per year to reduce the influence of big money in politics. They also want to make it a national security priority to safeguard the UK’s democratic processes from any threats or interference.

Making ministerial rules legally binding:
The Lib Dems would hold government ministers accountable for corruption and sleaze by enshrining the Ministerial Code in legislation.

Establishing a federal United Kingdom:
The Liberal Democrats would establish a written constitution for a federal United Kingdom, ensuring a strong voice for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. They would oppose both a second independence referendum to maintain a strong union with Scotland.

Abolishing voter ID rules:
The party promises to abolish the Conservatives’ voter ID scheme and lower the voting age to 16, strengthening democratic rights and participation.

Expanding local government net zero powers:
The Lib Dems would empower local authorities to play a pivotal role in reducing emissions within their jurisdictions by providing increased powers and funding and strengthen local authorities’ powers over community assets to safeguard critical infrastructure.

Preventing imposed elected mayors:
The party would end top-down reorganisation of councils and refrain from imposing elected mayors on communities that oppose them.

Health and social care

Recruiting 8,000 more GPs:
The party has said it would ensure thousands more GPs are recruited to help deliver an extra 65 million appointments a year by the end of the next parliament. It estimates that its plans would cost ÂŁ4bn over five years.

Pledging access to a GP within seven days:
The Lib Dems have promised to give everyone the right to see their GP within seven days, or 24 hours if it’s urgent, which will be made possible through their recruitment plan. They also want to reform NHS dentistry, give mental health concerns parity with physical health, and increase investment in public health and prevention.

Tackling ambulance waiting times:
The party has called on the Government to back the Lib Dem’s Ambulance Waiting Times Bill, which would require data on ambulance response times to be published and wants to see a paramedic recruitment drive.

Carers’ minimum wage:
The Lib Dems want to introduce free personal care and increase wages for social care staff. Carers will receive greater support through increased Carer’s Allowance and a guarantee of regular respite breaks.

Housing

Building 150,000 new council homes:
The Lib Dems commit to building at least 150,000 new council and social homes annually. They plan to empower local authorities to end the right to buy in their areas and mandate the implementation of landlord licensing schemes.

Expanding development powers for councils:
To allow councils to purchase land for housing developments, the party would reform the Land Compensation Act 1961 to base purchases on current use rather than speculative “hope value”. They plan to strengthen council powers to construct their own homes.

Safeguarding rights for renters:
The Liberal Democrats would enhance rights for private sector renters by banning no-fault evictions and making longer tenancies the default. They plan to grant social housing tenants more control over the management of their homes and estates.

Improving home standards:
The Lib Dems plan to raise standards for new homes to ensure they are energy-efficient, cost-effective and produce zero emissions.

Removing dangerous cladding:
The party promises to guarantee that leaseholders are not financially responsible for the removal of dangerous cladding from their buildings.

Limiting second homes and holiday lets:
The Liberal Democrats would grant communities the authority to restrict the number of second homes and holiday lets within their areas.

EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey with Liberal Democrat candidate Josh Babarinde enjoy an ice cream during a visit to the marginal seat of Eastbourne on May 24, 2024 in Eastbourne, England. The Liberal Democrats are targeting Conservative marginal seats along the South Coast in the upcoming general election on July 4th. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Sir Ed with Lib Dem candidate Josh Babarinde during a visit to the marginal seat of Eastbourne (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Migration

Tackling smuggling, trafficking, and modern slavery:
The Lib Dems would scrap the Conservatives’ “hostile environment” policy and redirect resources to invest in officers, training, and technology to combat smuggling, trafficking, and modern slavery.

Reforming immigration processes:
The Lib Dems would transfer powers over work visas, overseas students, and asylum from the Home Office to other departments. They plan to establish a new, independent unit to expedite applications accurately.

Providing safe routes for refugees:
The party promises to abolish the Conservatives’ Illegal Migration Act and establish safe and legal routes for refugees, aiming to prevent perilous Channel crossings.

Addressing asylum backlog:
The Liberal Democrats plan to establish a dedicated unit outside the Home Office to streamline asylum decision-making. They would introduce a three-month service standard for processing asylum claims, except for the most complex cases, and expedite returns for those ineligible to stay.

Lifting the ban on asylum seekers working:
The Lib Dems would allow asylum seekers waiting for a decision for more than three months to work, enabling them to support themselves, integrate into communities, and contribute through taxation.

Protection of the Human Rights Act:
The party promises to advocate for the Human Rights Act and oppose any attempts to weaken or repeal it.

Protecting human rights

Making misogyny a hate crime:
The Liberal Democrats would make misogyny a hate crime and provide police and prosecutors with the necessary resources and training to prevent and prosecute all hate crimes while supporting survivors.

Banning conversion therapy:
The Liberal Democrats have promised to respect and defend the rights and identities of all LGBT+ people, including trans and non-binary individuals, and want to ban all forms of conversion therapy.

Establishing a race equality strategy:
The Lib Dems would develop and implement a comprehensive race equality strategy to address systemic racism.

Protecting reproductive health rights:
The party plans to safeguard individuals’ right to make independent decisions regarding their reproductive health without state interference. They would ensure access to high-quality reproductive healthcare.

Transport

Local controls over transport networks:
The Lib Dems plan to provide local authorities in England with greater decision-making powers and resources to design public transport infrastructure tailored to community needs, including the ability to operate their own buses and to restore or introduce bus routes where there is local demand.

Promoting electric vehicles:
The Liberal Democrats plan to encourage the transition to electric vehicles by expanding charging infrastructure, increasing local grid capacity, reducing VAT on electric vehicles to 5 per cent, and mandating that all new cars and small vans sold from 2030 produce zero emissions.

Ensuring fair and affordable fares:
The Lib Dems would freeze rail fares and simplify ticketing on public transport to ensure regular users pay a fair and affordable price.

Improving Britain’s railways:
The party plans to extend and complete the electrification of Britain’s rail network, enhance stations, improve disabled access, reopen smaller stations, and restore twin-track lines on major routes.

Reducing transport emissions:
The party has promised to pass a clean air act based on World Health Organisation guidelines and enforce it through a new air quality agency. They would also create new cycling and walking networks separate from motorised traffic.

Welfare and pensions

Repairing the safety net:
The Lib Dems have committed to reversing the Conservatives’ £20-a-week cut to universal credit, raising legacy benefits, and replacing the sanctions regime with an incentive-based scheme to assist people into work.

Ending deep poverty:
The party plans to set a target to end deep poverty within a decade and establish an independent commission to recommend annual increases in universal credit to achieve this goal.

Support for pensioners and Waspis:
The Liberal Democrats would protect the triple lock, and properly compensate women born in the 1950s impacted by state pension age changes in line with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The party also plans to make pensions environmentally friendly by requiring funds to comply with the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Election 2024

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are out on the campaign trail after the Prime Minister announced a surprise snap election on 22 May. i‘s general election live blog follows all the twists and turns of the election period from all the major parties.

The Tories have announced a mandatory national service policy and a “triple lock plus” for pensioners, but are losing more MPs as Lucy Allan entered talks to defect to Reform UK after her suspension.

Labour’s NHS backlog plan has had some criticism but all eyes are on candidates claiming they have been blocked from standing, including Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen. Despite this, Starmer is still odds on to become the next prime minister.

Keep up to date with the 2024 general election in our extensive coverage, on everything from the main parties’ environment pledges to the seats still without a candidate.

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