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Liberal Democrats policies

We've waded through the Liberal Democrats manifesto, so you don't have to. But if you feel we've missed something important, let us know

Lib Dems logoFamily

  • Abolish Child Trust Funds
  • Introduce 18 months of shared, paid parental leave from when a child is born when economy improves
  • Give fathers right to time off to attend ante-natal appointments
  • Right to apply for flexible working extended to all – to allow working grandparents to help with childcare
  • Fix tax credit payments for six months with exceptions for emergency situations only
  • Introduce a Default Contact Arrangement to divide a child’s time between their two parents in the event of family breakdown, if there is no threat to the safety of the child.


  • Raise the Income Tax threshold to £10k
  • Scrap Council Tax and replace with local tax based on ability to pay
  • Replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-plane tax and introduce domestic flight tax where alternativer realistic, less polluting transport is available.
  • Introduction of 1% 'Mansion Tax' on properties worth over £2m
  • Tax capital gains at the same rates as income.
  • Restrict tax relief on pension contributions to the basic rate

Early years

  • Protect existing childcare support arrangements until economy improves, allowing move to 20 hours free childcare for every child, from the age of 18 months
  • Support Surestart. Would continue to fund it at the current proposed level but think it should concentrate more on outreach work to make sure it is reaching the families that need it the most
  • Would keep the existing arrangements for childcare vouchers
'The Liberal Democrats believe in a fair society, parents should be supported so they can spend meaningful time with their young children, and given more help so childcare is affordable. We will allow parents to share leave between them so they can arrange family life in the way that suits them best. We will cut taxes for families on low and middle incomes. And, to make life easier for families, we will change the way tax credits are paid so you can rely on them and don't face the nightmare of having to pay back thousands of pounds.'


  • Extra £2.5bn to spend on schools to spend on most disadvantage pupils, allowing them to choose to cut class sizes or hire more teachers.
  • SEN tests for all five-year-olds 
  • Reduced KS2 tests at 11 – with more teacher-based assessment
  • Replace the 600 page national curriculum with a 20 page Minimum Curriculum Guarantee.
  • Create a general diploma bringing GCSEs, vocational qualifications and A-levels together
  • Scrap university tuition fees for first degrees
  • Stop the establishment of new schools which select by ability, aptitude or faith and phase out selection by faith in all state-funded schools within five years
  • Reform school league tables


  • Cap public sector pay rises to £400 for two years,
  • 10% levy on bank profits with a view to breaking up the banking system
  • Introduction of regional stock exchanges
  • Restoring the link between pensions and earnings
  • Force energy companies to change tariffs so that first energy you use is the cheapest


  • NHS – pay for people to go private if the NHS can't treat with the agreed target time
  • Increase salaries for GPs in deprived areas with the worst health,
  • Tests of competence and language for doctors
  • Halve the amount the NHS spends on advertising and marketing


  • 3000 more police on the beat
  • Make hospitals and police work together to identify knife and violent crime hotspots
  • All prisoners to work and pay funds into a victim compensation fund
  • Make the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs completely independent of government
  • Cancel prison-building programme


  • Eco cashback scheme to give homeowners £400 if they install double glazing, replace an old boiler or install micro-generation
  • Insulating all homes to a good standard within 10 years
  • 40% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 rising to 100 per cent by 2050
  • Funds for schools wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings
  • Investing £140 million in a bus scrappage scheme to replace old, polluting buses
  • Blocking any new coal-fired power stations or nuclear power stations


  • Bringing the basic pay of lower ranks and NCOs in line with equivalent police ranks
  • Doubling the number of forces' family homes refurbished from around 800 to
  • around 1600 per year
  • Won't renew Trident
  • Reduction in civilian staff in MOD and reduction in officer ranks


  • Introduction of Proportional Representation
  • Reduce voting age to 16
  • Introduce fixed term parliaments
  • Cap donations at £10k
  • Allowing recall of MP suspended for wrongdoing

Transport and technology

  • Cancel plans for third runway at Heathrow
  • Introduction of road user pricing

Foreign aid

  • Aim to reduce cost of people from emigrant communities wiring money home
  • Reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNI by 2013
  • Will work towards a post-aid world, based around global alliances and seek ways to reduce dependency and restore local accountability.


Other key political party websites:
SNP; Plaid Cymru;
SDLPSinn Fein
 Foreign aid
  • Scrap ID cards and the next generation of biometric passports
  • Innocent people's details removed from the DNA database
  • Regulate the use of CCTV 

This feature is intended as an outline guide to the key policies published by Liberal Democrats. For the full manifesto, see the official Liberal Democrats Party site.


Last updated: over 3 years ago