MP Julian Huppert has played a lead role in writing the Liberal Democrats’ pre-manifesto which will shape the party’s national campaign for next May’s General Election.
The pre-manifesto outlines the key issues that the party believes are crucial to Britain’s future success. They will be voted on by its members at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference in Glasgow next month.
Julian said: “This pre-manifesto gives a clear view of the issues that we believe are vital to make sure that everyone has a fair and equal chance in our society. We have achieved a great deal in this Parliament but there is still so much more we can do for the people of Cambridge and across the country as a whole.
“We have overturned 30 years of financial neglect in our schools, achieving an extra 23.2 million for Cambridgeshire and our pre-manifesto commits to a national fairer funding formula which would give our schools even more money.
“And we have invested in measures to give youngsters the best chance. Our Pupil Premium is helping disadvantaged youngsters keep up with their classmates and our younger children 15 hours a week of free nursery schooling. We would increase that even further to 20 hours in a new Parliament.
“We have also cut tax bills by £800 a year and lifted the poorest out of paying tax altogether; we would push that further to give workers back another £400, raising the threshold at which people start paying tax to £12,500. That’s a huge help for hard working families.
“We would also introduce a new Freedom Bill to protect citizens from excessive state powers and pass a Digital Bill of Rights. These Bills would make sure that the government would never have the power to intrude on anyone’s privacy as outlined in the so-called Snooper’s Charter that we killed off.”
Other proposals in the pre-manifesto include:
• Pushing forward with the Regional Growth Fund, which has already delivered 99,000 jobs with a £3.6 billion investment, to back growing businesses;
• A discounted bus pass for the under 21s so that they can afford to get to work or college. This would provide another boost for our young people following the success of the apprenticeship programme which has helped almost two million people;
• Cutting £50 from household energy bills and boosting competition among suppliers;
• Introducing a £250 Carers’ Bonus to give carers a proper break every year;
• Keeping house prices and rents affordable and boosting house building to 300,000 a year.
“Our economy is growing and more jobs are being created but there is so much more than needs to be done,” added Julian. “This pre-manifesto sets out those areas where we can make a difference.”