Skip to main content

15 April 2015Liberal Democrats' Election Manifesto 2015: Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone.

Nick Clegg 720

You can read their full manifesto here.

You can read our blog on the Liberal Democrats' manifesto here

Key policies

  • Increasing the personal tax-free allowance to £12,500
  • An extra £2.5bn for England's education budget
  • Guaranteeing education funding from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every class
  • Investing £8bn more in the NHS
  • Equal care for mental and physical health
  • Balancing the structural current budget by 2017-18
  • Protecting nature and fighting climate change with new green laws

The economy

  • The manifesto says that taking a "responsible approach" to tackling the deficit is "essential".
  • To eradicate the structural deficit by 2017/18
  • Set the UK on a course to reduce debt as a share of national income
  • Create a fair plan to reduce the deficit by ensuring the rich pay "their fair share" and corporations are unable to avoid "tax responsibilities"
  • Creating new fiscal rules to balance the budget, but also allow for productive investment
  • Increase public spending once the budget has been balanced
  • Double spending on innovation in the economy
  • Devolve more economic decision-making to local areas
  • Allow high-skill immigration to support key sectors of the economy

Banking, business and energy

  • Grow a competitive banking sector, supporting "alternative finance providers "
  • Set a legally binding decarbonisation target
  • Prioritise small and medium-sized enterprises for any business tax cuts
  • Push for a Land Value Tax to replace business rates
  • Introduce a law to set a legally binding target to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050
  • Introduce rail upgrades across the country
  • Invest in major transport improvements and infrastructure
  • Set an indicative target for 60% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030
  • Establish a Low-carbon Transition Fund using 50% of any tax revenues from shale gas to fund energy efficiency, community energy, low-carbon innovation and renewable heat

Religious liberty & freedom of belief

  • Tackle religious discrimination and support faith and belief communities in working together we will: Continue support for the Interfaith Network to promote strong and sustainable relations between different faith communities. Support projects aimed at tackling intolerance such as Show Racism the Red Card and the Anne Frank Trust UK. Work closely with faith and community organisations, such as the Community Security Trust (which works to protect the Jewish community against anti-Semitic attacks) and the Muslim Council of Britain, to prevent hate crime, including at places of worship like synagogues and mosques. We are determined to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate in the UK and internationally.
  • The recent Islamist extremist attacks on journalists in Europe are a sharp reminder of the need to protect freedom of speech and belief internationally. We will appoint an Ambassador-level Champion for Freedom of Belief to drive British diplomatic efforts in this field, and we will campaign for the abolition of blasphemy, sedition, apostasy and criminal libel laws worldwide, having already been responsible for ending them in this country.

Tax, welfare and pensions

  • Raise the Personal Allowance to at least £12,500 by the end of the next Parliament
  • Take "tough" action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance
  • Remove a number of distortions, loopholes and excess reliefs from the tax system
  • Extend free childcare to all two-year-olds and parents near end of parental leave;providing 15 hours a week of free childcare to the parents of all two-year olds and aiming to increase this to 20 hours. The party says it also wants to introduce 15 hours free childcare for all working parents with children aged between nine months and two years
  • Expand shared parental leave with a 'use it or lose it' month for fathers
  • Complete the introduction of Universal Credit
  • Retain the cap on household benefits
  • Introduce a 1% cap on the uprating of working age benefits
  • Withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment and free TV Licence from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate
  • Require companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap
  • By 2020, require these companies to publish the number of people paid less than the Living Wage
  • Pay a living wage set by an independent review to workers in all central government departments and their agencies from April 2016
  • Consult on allowing employees on zero-hours contracts to request a fixed contract
  • Force energy companies to allow people to switch suppliers in 24 hours
  • Ensure rail fares do not rise faster than inflation over the Parliament as a whole

Education

  • Allow parents to continue to choose faith-based schools within the state-funded sector and allow the establishment of new faith schools. We will ensure all faith schools develop an inclusive admissions policy and end unfair discrimination on grounds of faith when recruiting staff, except for those principally responsible for optional religious instruction.
  • Protect early years, school, sixth form and college budgets
  • Ensure the core curriculum is taught in every school and every child taught by qualified teachers
  • End illiteracy and innumeracy by 2025
  • Provide rapid support and intervention to help ensure that all schools become good or outstanding
  • Increase the number of Teaching Schools
  • Rule out state-funded profit-making schools
  • Repeal the rule that all new state funded schools must be free schools or academies
  • Extend free school meals to all primary pupils
  • Double the numbers of businesses hiring apprentices
  • Establish an Educational Standards Authority with responsibility for curriculum content and examination standards in schools
  • Set up a review of higher education finance within the next Parliament to consider any necessary reforms
  • Increase the number of apprenticeships

NHS

  • Increase NHS England's budget by £8 billion per year by 2020, with more funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Invest £500m in mental health care with ensuring waiting time standards match those in physical health care
  • Improve access to "clinically and cost-effective talking therapies"
  • Introduce a package of support for carers including a £250 Carer's Bonus per year
  • Ensure frontline public service workers are given better training in mental health
  • Repealing any parts of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which make NHS services vulnerable to forced privatisation
  • Expanding evening and weekend opening for GPs and encouraging phone and Skype appointments
  • Restrict marketing of junk food to children, including restricting TV advertising before the 9pm watershed
  • Introduce Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol
  • Pass a Nature Act to increase access to green spaces

Foreign affairs and defence

  • End continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, enabling a cut in the number of submarines
  • Ban arms exports to countries flagged up by the FCO’s human rights report
  • Help service personnel and veterans with mental health problems
  • Integrate defence and security spending

Others

  • Roll out high-speed broadband to reach 99.9% of households
  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
  • Ensure the BBC licence fee does not rise faster than inflation
  • Extend Freedom of Information laws to cover private companies delivering public services