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Come on your clever people - please enlighten me!

(16 Posts)
madamefreckle Mon 29-Mar-10 22:15:48

What, fundamentally, are the differences between the main parties? Are you able to give me a summary of the policies/possible changes each party offers. Particularly, what can you tell me with regard to each party's angle on where we're going with Primary Education and where each party would leave me (a p/t local authority worker p/t SAHM with self-employed partner - on joint salary less than £24,000) financially. I feel so totally in the dark about the whole thing and don't really know where to go to find out without spending all of the hours I don't have reading papers. Thank you!

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 29-Mar-10 22:20:36

fundamental difference as far as I can tell are:
Labour use red
Conservatives use Blue
Liberal democrats use yellowy/orange

I say vote for your favourite colour.

TottWriter Mon 29-Mar-10 23:30:46

The telegraph website has an overview of all three parties' election manifestos, which gives a rough idea of where the differences lie. It's not a complete picture of party morals and left/right-ness, but it's a good start to stop you going in blind.

Genrally, Labour are considered to be 'left wing' (though New Labour really isn't), the Conservatives are considered to be 'right-wing' and the Lib Dems are...complicated. They're 'liberal', anyway.

The Conservatives are also seen as Anti EU.

In Alphabetic order (for fairness wink)

Liberal Democrat

MrIC Tue 30-Mar-10 12:26:04

No idea about the Primary Education stuff, but both Labour and the Lib Dems will give you and your partner a tax break based on your estimate of your earnings.

labour will knock £145 off your tax bill and increase child benefits and tax credit

lib dems will raise the tax thresh-hold to £10,000 - so basically you wont pay any income tax until you earn over that amount

conservatives will cut inheritance tax though I'm guessing that isn't particularly interesting to you at the moment!

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Mar-10 12:50:42

If you take a look at our spangly new General Election section we've got pages on the key policies from Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and Green parties

vesela Tue 30-Mar-10 13:11:17

thanks Catherine - that looks really good.

One additional thing from Lib Dem education policy (which I was just looking up on the LD site as am out of date) is Education Freedom Act to devolve powers away from central government and give schools more freedom/flexibility (which also comes with slimming down the National Curriculum obviously).

and Pupil Premium to target extra funding for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

cutting class sizes - have seen 15 for age 5-7 but 20 elsewhere - how does that work?

link to full paper here for anyone interested.

madamefreckle Tue 30-Mar-10 23:22:01

Thanks everyone! That's a start. Re: "cutting class sizes - have seen 15 for age 5-7 but 20 elsewhere - how does that work?" - Do you mean that the Lib Dems are going to aim to have classes that small??! Surely not possible except in private schools and tiny village schools?

Quattrocento Tue 30-Mar-10 23:27:48

I don't think there is much point in reading election manifestos

Political parties do what is expedient. Gordon Brown insisted he would stick to the golden rule. Which he did until he didn't. No tax increases, he said. Then he increased NIC (not a tax, you see) and then chopped away at allowances (not a tax, you see) and then he removed the pension fund credit (not a tax you see) which meant people had to fund loads of extra contributions into their pensions ....

The list of broken manifesto promises is equally long from both sides of the divide.

So I genuinely think you would save yourself considerable time and energy by not bothering reading any manifestos.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Mar-10 23:29:28

someone linked a fab site to me on a thread the other day.

here you go. fill your boots.

WetAugust Tue 30-Mar-10 23:42:41

Doesn't really matter who you vote for anymore as we're effectively ruled from Brussels now sad

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Mar-10 23:52:07

im not voting, my vote is to not vote. i think. i got pasted on AIBU t'other day for it so now ive got to....or ill have suffered the indignities of being called a princess for nothing. grin

WetAugust Wed 31-Mar-10 00:05:32

I always vote - think suffragettes et al.

Just couldn't bring myself to vote for any of the 'Main 3'

NettiespagettisMiniEggs Wed 31-Mar-10 00:29:13

Lol @ fruitshootsandheaves like the name and like the thinking! I have just spent sone time (stuck on train) reading political manifestos and I'm not totally clued up and I know who to vote for!!

Well no I don't!!

<headachey and non the wiser>

vesela Wed 31-Mar-10 08:44:12

re. class sizes - apparently so. Money for the Pupil Premium (the extra funding that follows disadvantaged children) to come from taking above-average earners out of tax credits, then an additional £500m to cut class sizes to 15 for infant classes (also costed from cuts elsewhere). (Details are in the second doc. in the link above).

That plus the no tax on the first £10,000 of income are two of the four points that the Lib Dems would use for negotiating a post-election deal in the case of a hung parliament. here

JontyNation Wed 14-Apr-10 13:23:19

"fundamental difference as far as I can tell are:
Labour use red
Conservatives use Blue
Liberal democrats use yellowy/orange

I say vote for your favourite colour."

Interesting that it's the other way round in the US. Since Labour are no longer Labour but New Labour, they should be Purple?

This is useful - if rather simple:

BeenBeta Wed 14-Apr-10 13:41:08

Fundamentally, Labour are basically for a BIG state interefering in every aspect of our lives putting dependency on the state in place of family and community. Conservatives are for a small state and self reliance and dependence on family and local community.

LibDems seem to hoping for a hung Parliament where they will side with Labour on the condition they get a PR voting system.

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