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Lib Dems Offer Voters Freedom, Fairness And Trust

September 24, 2004 12:00 AM
Tom Brake at Lib Dem Conference

Brake: The key national issues for the Liberal Democrats in this election are freedom, fairness and trust.

Local MP Tom Brake has brought back more than sand and memories from this year's Liberal Democrat party conference, held in Bournemouth.

Mr Brake is offering voters in Carshalton and Wallington ten key reasons for voting Liberal Democrat in the next general election.

Mr Brake said,

"The key national issues for the Liberal Democrats in this election are freedom, fairness and trust.

The most important issue facing the world is to save our environment from destruction. The Liberal Democrats intend to cut pollution, cut congestion and boost renewable energy.

We can't have freedom in this country unless people are safe to live their lives. So Liberal Democrats will put 10,000 more police officers on the street and we have other workable ideas for cutting crime and the fear of crime.

Conservatives and Labour have left us with a less fair Britain. So we will scrap tuition fees and top-up fees for students, replace the unfair council tax with a fairer local income tax, and ensure that pensioners and people who need care get a fair deal by introducing free personal care and giving all pensioners over 75 an extra twenty five pounds on their pension every week.

I believe that after Labour took us to war in Iraq on the basis of weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, it is vital that we have a Government which will be straight with the British public and a government voters can trust."

In brief, the top 10 issues that the Liberal Democrats will be campaigning on between now and the general election are:

  • Put patients first - free doctors and nurses from Whitehall meddling.
  • Free personal care when you need it - no one forced to sell their home to pay for care.
  • No tuition fees, no top-up fees - university affordable for every student.
  • More investment in children's early years - spend the £1bn Child Trust Fund money when it matters most.
  • 10,000 more police on the streets - cutting crime and the fear of crime.
  • £25 more on the pension every week at 75 - a million pensioners off means-testing.
  • Free off-peak local transport - for all pensioners and disabled people.
  • Axe the Council Tax - Local Income Tax is both fair and affordable.
  • We should not have gone to war in Iraq - it's time to restore trust in the Government.
  • Take the environment seriously - cut pollution, cut congestion, and boost renewable energy.

Mr Brake added,

Tom Brake at Lib Dem Conference"Freedom is a basic human right. Everybody should be able to make independent choices about how they live their life, provided those choices don't harm anyone else. Everybody should have the opportunity to make the most of their life in a diverse society that values individuals and their differences.

Freedom is underpinned by fairness. To give everyone a fair chance to make the most of their potential, we need a high quality NHS and excellent education, so they are not unnecessarily held back by ill health or a poor education, regardless of how much money they have.

At the same time, people need to be able to trust government. They need to trust that government will listen to them and be honest and open about what it is doing. People deserve a government that tells the truth and keeps its promises."

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT POLICIES ARE FULLY COSTED

  • We are open and honest about how we will pay for our policies. Our pre-manifesto is fully costed.
  • Since Labour have now put up taxes, we don't need to raise taxes for most of our proposals - we have detailed plans to fund them by savings in current budgets. That will involve switching around £5 billion from lower priority programmes and unnecessary bureaucracy to our priorities. Key proposals include:
  • Cutting subsidies. We will abolish the DTI; reduce spending by DEFRA; adopt competitive procurement in defence; and abolish many local area initiatives.
  • Scrapping the Child Trust Fund and using the money for early years education and support.

Not introducing ID cards. Spend the money on more police, and giving them the latest technology.

  • Three of our key policies are about creating a fairer distribution of the costs of public services:
  • Scrapping tuition and top-up fees for students (Cost: £1.2 billion)
  • Introducing free personal care for elderly and disabled people (Cost: up to £1.4 billion)
  • Keeping down the rate of local taxes (Cost: £1.7bn)
  • These three items add up to £4.3 billion and we will pay for them by one tax change, introducing a new 50% rate on individual income in so far as it exceeds £100,000 a year.

THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS STAND FOR:

  • Freedom of the individual, underpinned by a safety net for the vulnerable, in our society.
  • Defenders of the public services, free at the point of use.
  • Internationalist in outlook - pro UN, pro Commonwealth and pro Europe.
  • Wary of an over-mighty state and dedicated to civil liberties.
  • Enthusiasts for the green agenda.
  • Our number one priority is quality local public services: a good school and hospital near you.
  • We believe in fairer, simpler taxes.

A full version of the pre-manifesto can be found on http://www.libdems.org.uk/documents/policies/Manifestos/Pre-manifesto04.pdf

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