Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 Introduction Our Values
This election can be and must be a turning point for Britain. This must be a moment of great change, so that we emerge from the recession as a fairer, greener, stronger and more united society. To do that, we need to be clear and honest about the failures that caused the problems we face, and set a clear, hopeful course for a different, better future.
Britain is struggling to emerge from a long and difficult recession. Families are finding it hard to make ends meet. Millions are unemployed, and millions more have taken pay cuts or reduced hours to stay in their jobs. And there are deeper problems too. Britain, for all its many strengths, is still too unequal and unfair, a country where the circumstances of your birth and the income of your parents still profoundly affect your chances in life. Our children’s future is threatened by climate change, which we have done far too little to stop. And the political system is in crisis.
Britain needs a fresh start. We need hope for a different, better future.
That is what this manifesto is all about. We believe that the future must be built on a different foundation: fairness. We believe that there are systemic failures that underlie every one of the major problems we face. And that gives us the chance to reshape our country, fundamentally, for the better.
Fairness is an essential British value. It is at the centre of how the vast majority of British people live their lives, but it has been forgotten by those at the top. Instead, greed and self-interest have held sway over the government and parts of the economy in recent decades. They have forgotten that growth must be shared and sustainable if it is to last.
Our core aim is to hard-wire fairness back into national life. That way we can build a stronger society with growth that lasts, fairness and opportunity for all.
bringing back fairness
At the root of Britain’s problems today is the failure to distribute power fairly between people. Political power has been hoarded by politicians and civil servants; economic power has been hoarded by big businesses. Both kinds of power have been stripped from ordinary citizens, leaving us with a fragile society marked by inequality, environmental degradation and boom- bust economics. If government merely tinkers at the edges – the Labour and Conservative approach – Britain’s problems will not be solved. We can change this only with radical action.
The Liberal Democrat philosophy is built on a simple ambition: to distribute power fairly among people. From that goal of fairness spring the four priorities which form the backbone of this manifesto. Each will redistribute power of a different kind, be it economic, social, political or financial. Each will change Britain for the better.
Those four changes are spelt out in detail in this manifesto. They will make Britain the fair country people want it to be. They are:
• Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket.
• A fair chance for every child.
• A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener.
• A fair deal for you from politicians. our tax plan
We propose the most radical tax reform in a generation, cutting taxes for millions paid for by closing loopholes at the top and increasing taxes on polluting aviation. No tax system should try to create total equality of income – but it can and should help redistribute wealth and power, to alleviate the worst excesses of inequality.
our schools plan
We will give every child the fair start they deserve by providing cash to reduce class sizes and increase one-to-one tuition. This is the best way to ensure, over the long term, that every child has opportunities, no matter their background, their home town or their parents’ bank balance.
our economic plan
Our vision is of a very different economy, balanced and sustainable both financially and environmentally. We will reduce the deficit, break up the banks, and ensure that Britain leads in developing the new green economy that the world needs.
our plan for cleaning up politics
The final change is the one that makes the others possible: political reform. The current system exists to block change. We will stamp out corruption and abuse by giving people power to sack corrupt MPs, end big money politics, and make sure those who seek to sit in Parliament pay full UK taxes. We will reinvigorate our democracy by dispersing power, breaking open Westminster and Whitehall and embracing fair votes for every level of election.
These four changes will transform Britain. They are our core priorities. The stronger we are as a party, the more power and influence we will have to make them happen, to change our country for the better. They are all essential to delivering real change in Britain.
change that works for you
This manifesto is not limited to these four structural changes. It is a full programme for a Liberal Democrat government, setting out our approach to all public services, to fiscal discipline, and to Britain’s place in the changing world.
In formulating our policies we have been driven by our one abiding concern: fairness. We know these are difficult times. But we also know there is a way out, a way to build a fairer, greener and stronger future.
It will take courage and commitment to make Britain truly fair for our children, and for the future. It will take an extraordinary government, different from every one that has come before. That is what the Liberal Democrats offer, which no other party can at this election.
If you want real change, choose the Liberal Democrats.
a green future: protecting the planet
Liberal Democrats believe that protecting the environment is one of the greatest challenges this generation faces. We must hand on to our children a planet worth living on. That requires action across government – this is everybody’s responsibility, not just one climate change minister’s. It is because we believe concern for the environment is important in every part of people’s lives that we have identified policies in every chapter of this manifesto to protect the planet. These policies are highlighted with green side tabs.
Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 : 4 Steps to a Fairer Britain
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