The policy agreement for the new Government is full of Liberal Democrat policies. It is a real chance to put into action the ideas that we have campaigned for.
A Fair Start for Children
· Introduce a Pupil Premium to give all children a fair start.
Fairer taxes and Economic Reform
- A substantial increase in the personal allowance from April 2011 with a longer term policy objective of further increasing the personal allowance to £10,000, making further real terms steps each year towards this objective
- Reform of the banking system, ensuring a flow of lending to businesses and a Banking Levy. An independent commission on separating retail and investment banking.
- Capital Gains Tax reform
- Fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on electoral reform for the House of Commons.
- A power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP was found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing.
- A wholly or mainly elected House of Lords on the basis of proportional representation.
- Giving Parliament control of its own agenda so that all bills are properly debated.
- Enacting the Calman Commission proposals and a referendum on further Welsh devolution.
- A statutory register of lobbyists.
- A limit on political donations and reform of party funding in order to remove big money from politics.
- Radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups.
A fair and sustainable future
- Establish a smart electricity grid and the roll-out of smart meters.
- Establish feed-in tariff systems in electricity
- A huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.
- The creation of a green investment bank.
- The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.
- Retention of energy performance certificates when HIPs are scrapped.
- Measures to encourage marine energy.
- The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard.
- Establish a high-speed rail network.
- Cancel the third runway at Heathrow and refuse additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
- Replace the Air Passenger Duty with a ‘per plane’ duty.
- The provision of a floor price for carbon, as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits.
- Make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.
- Promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.
- Reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months.
- Increase the target for energy from renewable sources.
- Restoration of the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011 with a “triple guarantee” that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%.
- Phase out the default retirement age and end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75.
- Implement the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman’s recommendation to make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policyholders.
- Scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the ContactPoint Database.
- Outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
- Extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
- Adopt the Scottish approach to stopping retention of innocent people’s DNA on the DNA database.
- Defend trial by jury.
- Restore rights to non-violent protest.
- A review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
- Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
- Further regulation of CCTV.
- Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
- A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
- End the detention of children for immigration purposes.