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Lib Dem policy debate thread

(58 Posts)
SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 20:59:06

So we've had best/worst tory/Labour threads, and I thought I'd fill the obvious gap for 2 reasons: firstly i'm seriously thinking of voting Lib Dem, and secondly because it occurred to me that the reason so many people scored well for the lib dems on this thread is because their policies are not debated as much as those of the other parties.

So anyway:

local income tax - good idea. in fact it was my idea.

50% tax band over 100k - good idea

free personal care for elderly - good idea, but I'm really not sure we should spend 1.7 billion on it. personal care is already free to those who have no money.

abolishing university fees - ditto. perhaps they should cut them though.

abolishing the DTI - really not sure on this. The dti does all kinds of dodgy stuff which should be abolished but not sure the whole dept should go.

what do you think? sophable, where are you?

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 21:02:25

I am actually in FAVOUR of university fees ... Have you MET any graduates lately? EVERYONE is going to university!

(I know I sound like a Tory but I have just had a young relative over who has just got a 2:1 and yet is the most stupid person I've ever met... Dearie me she can barely even string a sentence together in between sips of her Barcardi Breezers.)

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 21:10:46

It's true that lots of people have degrees now, but that's a good thing isn't it? Mediochre middle class students have been going to university for centuries - now it's everyone else's turn in a lot of ways. The vast majority of graduates still get a graduate level job eventually.

I object to fees because those on mid-low incomes may be put off. But at the same time free university subsidises the well off. Hence a reduction in fees might be good. Or a graduate tax - I'd be all in favour of that. then those who make a lot of money out of their course (lawyers, business students) will pay more than those who don't (teachers etc).

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 21:10:53

(See SP, they all BANG ON about how they're voting for the LibDems, but they are only doing it because they can't REALLY decide between the two MAIN parties and because they feel a bit sorry for Charles Kennedy...)

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 21:12:40

<<<raspberry emoticon>>>

sophable will be here soon, I know she will.

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 21:13:09

She's just seeing to Donald at the moment ...

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 21:13:32

... drums fingers ...

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 21:13:55

I've got to go and feed the hedgehogs in my garden, I will be back shortly.

JanH Mon 02-May-05 21:18:20

Although I am more of a LD than anything else, I would be happier if they were talking about putting more money into vocational ed rather than higher. And I think that elderly people who have the means should pay for their own personal care rather than us paying for it and their kids inheriting their entire estate. And I have no idea what the DTI actually does now the unions have been so emasculated.

Actually I will vote for the first party which realises how much we are being screwed by rich divorced couples with kids over 16 and changes the rules!

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 21:25:13

JanH - I agree. Have no idea what you're going on about with the rich divorced couples though (are we talking fee waiver loopholes?)

Mind you, I really like the lib dem "no ID cards and spend the money on other stuff instead" policy, and also the one about putting the new baby bond thing into smaller infant class sizes.

JanH Mon 02-May-05 21:42:48

Rich divorced couples explanation for you, SP: when parents are divorced (or even just legally separated I think) and the child lives with the mother, only the mother's actual income is considered for EMA (the allowance for over-16s in further ed) or for tuition/student loan, even if the father is loaded and the mother is remarried to somebody equally loaded.

EMA is up to £30 a week, with a hefty lump sum bonus, for staying in education. We are skint but DH earns too much for DS1 to get it; we know some wealthy families whose kids do get it. Makes me spit.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 21:45:50

right. I knew that about university fees - used to be the same for grants. It's not right.

JanH Mon 02-May-05 21:46:32


We know a local family where both the ex-husband and the stepfather are millionaires but the 16-yr-old gets £30 a week EMA. It's not meant for them but they have accountants and they are legally entitled so they take it.

JoolsToo Mon 02-May-05 21:47:42

mp - your first post

Now if 'I'd' said that!

JoolsToo Mon 02-May-05 21:48:37

votes for prisoners? - I don't think so!

ladymuck Mon 02-May-05 21:50:35

Not convinced that the 50% tax on income will raise nearly as much as they think it will, but that has been debated before here.

Abolishing the DTI - they can cut some of the DTI activities, but some will have to remain (eg managing the licenses for the North Sea oil fields). All it means is that you make other departments bigger.

Personally I also disagree with their policy to make parental smacking illegal. And I have concerns about their policy on compulsary sex education for KS2.

JanH Mon 02-May-05 21:51:30

KS2 already get sex ed!

JanH Mon 02-May-05 21:51:58

Or do they want to withdraw it? [confused]

ladymuck Mon 02-May-05 21:58:55

Apparently only in National Curriculum from KS3. Also there is currently a parental right to withdraw a child from the lssons. Libdems will start compulsary sex ed from 7 and parents will have no right to withdraw their child.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-May-05 21:59:23

janh - I think they do but it's not compulsory. squeamish teachers/schools can opt out (as my school did - a long time ago i know but I don't think it's changed).

OldieMum Mon 02-May-05 22:00:38

I am going to vote Lib Dem, because of their stance on the War, their opposition to the Government's attacks on civil liberties and their readiness to be honest about the need for tax increases to pay for better social programmes. But I disagree with their policy on tuition fees (I am a university lecturer). It's dishonest of them to argue that paying out of taxation for students to go to university is an egalitarian policy. Most of the increase in student numbers is accounted for by an increase in the proportion of middle-class students going to uni. The proportion of working-class people going to uni is still very small. Graduates earn substantially more than non-graduates, on the whole, and I don't see why people on low incomes should pay for them get this benefit.

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 22:06:43

I agree with JanH re. the elderly getting free care and then kids inheriting their estate.

It would make more sense to say that the elderly get free care but then massively increase inheritance tax.

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 22:07:55

If I have learnt anything from sex education, it's that using withdrawal is always unwise.

JanH Mon 02-May-05 22:10:52

The "sex" ed my kids have had in KS2 has been mostly "reproduction ed" - DS2 is in Y7 now but I just asked him about the sex ed he had in Y6, he said what he found useful was mostly about puberty and he was glad he had it. And none of the kids was withdrawn. I don't know if all schools use the same media/text for sex ed though.

morningpaper Mon 02-May-05 22:13:32

(OT: I told my 2 year-old daughter this morning that I saw two hedgehogs in the garden which might mean that there would be some baby hedgehogs soon, and she said "Daddy! Mummy saw naked hedgehogs in the garden!!!"


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