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Monday, 8 September 2014

Nick Clegg unveils ‘manifesto for the next generation’

The Liberal Democrats have today unveiled the party's pre-manifesto, which sets out out their vision for Britain in the next Parliament. The policies in the pre-manifesto, which the Lib Dems say has spreading opportunity for the next generation at its heart, will be debated and voted on by our members at the upcoming Party Conference in Glasgow.

Liberal Democrats say that in government they have played an essential role in 'rescuing Britain's economy, creating more than 1m jobs and bringing the economy back to growth.'

They say they are proud of their record of delivery and the pre-manifesto document sets out their promise of more in the next. They say their focus will be on a ‘manifesto for the next generation’ with a host of policies aimed at improving opportunities for children and young people, including plans to expand free childcare to all two year olds, introduce free school meals for all primary school children and triple the early years pupil premium.

If you would like to read the full document, click here.

Commenting Nick Clegg accused the Conservatives of ‘actively seeking to preserve the pecking order’ , saying "they believe “the life you are born into is the life you lead – it’s as simple as that”. He also accused Labour of being unable to help young people realise their talents: “not on the shifting sands of their weak and unstable economy”.

Mr Clegg continued: "Today the Liberal Democrats are publishing what we call our pre-manifesto: the first big building block for the manifesto we will put to the British people at the General Election next year. We are the only party which produces one of these. It’s in order to give our members the opportunity to debate, amend and vote on the policies that will eventually go into our final manifesto. That all happens at our Conference next month. And it’s a document which matters more than it ever has. The Liberal Democrats are a party of government now.

75% of our previous manifesto was successfully negotiated into the Coalition Agreement, according to University College London’s Constitution Unit. 75%.

And just think through the Coalition’s most significant, signature reforms:
  • the biggest ever income tax cut for millions of people;
  • the biggest ever cash rise in the state pension;
  • the £2.5bn Pupil Premium;
  • the biggest ever investment in renewable energy;
  • the biggest expansion of apprenticeships in a generation.
All Liberal Democrat policies from that last manifesto. We may be the smaller party but time after time we have come up with the biggest ideas."

Responding to the publication of the Lib Dem pre-manifesto Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman said: "Nick Clegg has once again shown what we all know - his government has let down working people. People will judge the Lib Dems on their record of broken promises and failure. The Lib Dems cannot escape responsibility for the policies they have voted for in support of David Cameron and the Tories."

Continuing Ms Harman commented: "The Lib Dems talk about a fairer society, but after nearly a full term in Government working people are struggling while millionaires have been given a tax cut. The Lib Dems talk about opportunity for young people, but they voted to treble tuition fees. Nick Clegg voted for the bedroom tax, but now claim they no longer support it. The truth is there would be no bedroom tax if it was not for the Lib Dems voting for it. What the Lib Dems say now is no guide to what they'll do in the future. Voters know they cannot trust Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems."