Manifesto analysis: Liberal Democrats and Greens

Liberal Democrats – Change Britain’s Future

Giving people a voice on Brexit is a central tenet of the Lib Dem manifesto, with a commitment to a second referendum on the terms of the deal with Europe. Despite promising to be the party that represents the 48%, the Liberal Democrats didn’t perform as well as expected at the recent local and mayoral elections and have failed to significantly increase their vote share in national polls.

Their manifesto seeks to broaden their appeal with significant investment in health, education and social care, as well as niche policies such as the legalisation of cannabis. However, whether this will translate into votes come polling day, remains to be seen.

Summary of key policy announcements:

Brexit

  • The Liberal Democrats have called for a referendum on the terms of the deal with Europe once they have been agreed
  • Commitment to fight a ‘hard Brexit’ including continued access to the Single Market and the Customs Union, protecting the rights of EU citizens and UK citizens, supporting freedom of movement and maintaining environmental standards in UK law

Business and Economy

  • Plan to eliminate the deficit in day-to-day spending by 2020
  • Increasing investment in research and innovation and protecting the Science Budget
  • Providing greater support to small businesses by expanding the remit of the British Business Bank to provide greater capital for SMEs
  • Introducing provisions that allow employees of businesses with 250+ employees the right to request shares
  • Give employees representation on remuneration committees and the right to representation on company boards for listed companies
  • Reform fiduciary duty to include other measures such as employee welfare, environmental standards and community benefit
  • Introduction of ‘good employer’ kitemark
  • Modernise employment rights in line with advent of ‘gig economy’

Transport and Infrastructure

  • Implement a programme of capital investment with £100 billion for infrastructure, including 300,000 new homes per year by 2022, investment in schools and hospitals, road and rail and a scheme to encourage more private investment in renewable energy
  • Create a British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with an initial investment of £5 billion

Health

  • Diverting more funding into the NHS by levying an additional penny on every pound of income tax
  • Matching waiting times for mental health treatment with those of physical health
  • Introduction of a cap on social care costs and moving towards location based health and social care budgets by 2020

Education

  • Investment of £7 billion in education including increasing school budgets and the Pupil Premium
  • Increasing the Pupil Premium for Early Years to £1000 per child
  • Opposing new selective schools in a direct challenge to the Conservatives Grammar School policy

Defence and Foreign Policy

  • Maintain commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on international aid
  • Suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries with poor human rights records
  • Maintain commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence
  • Greater investment in security and intelligence services, with a particular focus on cyber security

Green PartyStand up for what matters

The Green Party have published 10 election pledges including:

  • An economy for everyone
  • Protecting our environment
  • Membership of the EU
  • A truly public NHS
  • Education for all
  • Our promise to young people
  • Safe, secure and affordable homes
  • A safer world
  • A citizen’s democracy
  • A people’s transport system