Languishing a distant third place in opinion polls ahead of the country’s 8 June general election, the Lib Dems are styling themselves as the party of the 48% who voted past year to remain in the European Union.
This week has seen the publication of manifestos from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – each promising to look after the interests of British farmers. It was called by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to unite the parliament around the Tories and strengthen her hand in Brexit talks with Brussels.
The party has a variety of measures planned to increase money raised from taxes.
The party, which suffered in the 2015 election when it was left with just eight MPs, has also said it will raise all income tax by 1p to raise £6bn for the NHS and social care services and promised its flagship policy of delivering a second European Union referendum following the conclusion of Brexit negotiations. They would increase the earnings threshold for income tax to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000 by 2020. A “help-to-rent” scheme would offer people government-backed loans to help them pay a rental deposit. It also wants to make sure those with high incomes and large wealth make a fair contribution, by removing loop holes and distortions.
But the Lib Dems would not scrap university tuition fees, insisting the NHS is a bigger spending priority.
Tim Farron has accused Theresa May of voluntarily putting a “time bomb” under the British economy with her plan to take the United Kingdom out of the single market. It is claimed that doing so could generate £1 billion. Instead, it would give people education and access to treatment, with a civil penalty if appropriate.
But the SNP argued that the Lib Dems “can’t be trusted to stand against Tory cuts”, pointing to their “record of betrayal” by forming a coalition government with the Conservatives between 2010 and 2015.
The Lib Dems also want to double the number of businesses that take apprenticeships.
The Lib Dems are not matching Labour’s commitment to extend the Personal Independence Payment disability benefit, although they are pledging to axe the Work Capability Assessment for disability benefit applicants, as well as the bedroom tax.
The Lib Dems would spend a little less, and raise taxes more evenly between groups.
The Lib Dem manifesto set out plans to fight hard Brexit, ban diesel cars and help young people buy their first home.
To do this, the party would establish a government-commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent.
Housebuilding would be enforced on unwanted public sector land; builders that have planning permission but have not built out after three years would be penalised for land-banking and local authorities would be able to end the Right to Buy if they wished.
“The Rent Smart Wales registration and licensing scheme is an absolute shambles, with ineffective enforcement, contradictory advice, and little consistency”.
16 Eliminate deficit on day-to-day spending by 2020 to control the national debt, and then borrow only to invest.