The Lib Dems have launched their General Election manifesto. It puts opportunity at its heart and sets out a plan to ensure every child has a world-class education. The party has announced a major new commitment to protect education funding for every child. This means protecting education spending per pupil in real terms over the next parliament, increasing the education budget as a whole. This commitment provides an extra £2.5bn of funding for 2-19yr olds by 2020.
This spending commitment will allow the Liberal Democrats to:
- Put a qualified teacher in every classroom.
- Recruit and retain more good teachers.
- Help schools to offer more one-to-one and small group tuition.
- Expand early years education as pupil numbers grow.
- This funding will also help ensure we can meet our commitment that every child is able to read well by the age of 11.
The £2.5bn funding commitment is the equivalent of 70,000 teachers, 10,000 learning support assistants and guarantees funding for the additional 460,000 children starting school through the parliament.
The full manifesto includes:
- Opportunity for children: with investment in education from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every classroom
- Opportunity for young people: with more apprenticeships, discounted bus travel, a massive increase in housebuilding and support to rent or own their own home through the innovative Help to Rent and Rent to Own schemes
- Opportunity for parents: with more free childcare and more paternity leave for fathers
- Opportunity for workers: with a further £400 tax cut for millions of working people
- Opportunity for older people: with the pensions triple lock written into law and the extra £8bn a year the NHS needs by 2020 to cope with the pressures of an ageing population
- Opportunity for the next generation: with the budget balanced and our environment protected so that our children and grandchildren are not left to pay for the mistakes of this one
As with the party's 2010 manifesto, the Liberal Democrats' top priorities are spelt out on the front page. They are:
- Prosperity for all: Balance the budget fairly and invest to build a high-skill, low-carbon economy
- Opportunity for every child: Guarantee education funding from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every class
- Fair taxes: Cut your taxes by an additional £400 by raising the Personal Allowance to £12,500
- Quality health care for all: Invest £8bn to improve our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health
- Our environment protected: Protect nature and fight climate change with five green laws
Download and read the full Manifesto here.