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Friday, 9 March 2012

Pick & Mix Lib Dems - 75% success rate?

Alex Folkes has started a series of blogs which claims that the Lib Dems have managed to achieve 75% of the election promises, contained within their manfesto.

I have listed 20 random Lib Dem promises from their manifesto below. Perhaps a Lib Dem out there might indicate which 15 of these have now been fully implemented?

1. Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, including those studying part-time, saving them over £10,000 each. We have a financially responsible plan to phase fees out over six years, so that the change is affordable even in these difficult economic times, and without cutting university income. We will immediately scrap fees for final year students.

2. Ensure children get the individual attention they need by cutting class sizes

3. Break up the banks and get them lending again to protect real businesses

4. Taxing capital gains at the same rates as income, so that all the money you make is taxed in the same way.

5. Saying no to the like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, which could cost £100 billion. We will hold a full defence review to establish the best alternative for Britain’s future security.

6. Immediately restoring the link between the basic state pension and earnings. We will uprate the state pension annually by whichever is the higher of growth in earnings, growth in prices or 2.5 per cent.

7. Ending the rollercoaster of tax credit overpayments by fixing payments for six months at a time.

8. Setting aside extra money for schools who want to improve the energy effi ciency of their buildings. They will pay back the loan over time from energy savings, creating a rolling fund to help insulate every public building.

9. Bringing 250,000 empty homes back into use.

10. Investing £140 million in a bus scrappage scheme that helps bus companies to replace old polluting buses with new, accessible low carbon ones and creates jobs.

11. Reform business rates, creating a fairer system where rates are based on site values rather than rental values and are the responsibility of local authorities. We will make small company relief automatic and also seek to ensure that the burden is spread more equitably between small and large businesses.

12. Pass a new Mutuals, Co-operatives and Social Enterprises Bill to bring the law up to date and give responsibility for mutuals to a specific minister.

13. Introducing fair pay audits for every company with over 100 employees to combat discrimination in pay, for example against women. We will also require all public companies to declare in full all remunerations of £200,000 per year or more.

14. Establish a fully independent Educational Standards Authority (ESA) with real powers to stand up to ministers and restore confidence in standards. The ESA would oversee the examinations system, the systems of school inspection and accountability, and the detail of the curriculum. It would replace the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (OFQUAL), and include OFSTED, the schools inspectorate.

15. Set up a ‘Creative Enterprise Fund’ offering training, mentoring and small grants or loans to help creative businesses get off the ground.

16. Reform the National Lottery. We will change the way the National Lottery is taxed from a ticket tax to a gross profi ts tax, which is forecast to deliver more for good causes and the Exchequer.

17. Extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, making it easier for grandparents, for example, to take a caring role.

18. Set the minimum wage at the same level for all workers over 16 (except for those on apprenticeships)

19. End testing of household products on animals.

20. Cut rail fares, changing the rules in contracts with Train Operating Companies so that regulated fares fall behind inflation by 1 per cent each year, meaning a real-terms cut.


  1. With respect, you've hardly picked 20 random pledges and some of those you have picked have been fulfilled.

    The 75% figure comes from an academic study by University College London, so please feel free to take it up with them.

    Of course, there are the 25% that we didn't manage to get into the coalition agreement and that is regretted. But the simple answer is that if you want to see all Lib Dem manifesto pledges implemented then more people need to vote Lib Dem.

    Without the Lib Dems in government we would have seen a cabinet with nothing but Conservatives implementing a 100% Conservative manifesto.

    I don't think the Lib Dems in government have managed to do absolutely everything right. But I am sure that we've done a lot that is right and it is far better than the alternative...

  2. Hi Alex. Yes - ok not quite at random - I couldn't resist the uni fees pledge! I suspect that the image of Lib Dems holding signed pledges to abolish fees contrasted with what happened just a few weeks later will be the legacy for your party for a while to come.

    The others I picked because they were some of the few pledges that were specific and measurable. Many of the Lib Dem manifesto promises were bordering on rhetoric rather than substance.

    Which of the 20 pledges above have been achieved?

    I have been trying to find the UCL study online to see if there were any 'health warnings' and small print that accompanied it. Do you have a link at all?

  3. Pull the other one, Alex.

    Welfare reform? NHS reform? Cuts rather than progressive tax rises that cynically make the disabled and disadvantaged pay for the current crisis of capitalism rather than the super-rich? A labour market policy geared to pushing down wages? That's not to mention royally fucking up the chances of PR for a generation while giving us the equal constituency charade (and a Devonwall seat). The Lib Dems in government are in reality indistinguishable from the Tories and no amount of squirming can change this fact.

    Indeed, the Lib Dems'record in Cornwall has always been hypocritical and gutless. So no change there then. Any Lib Dem with an ounce of social conscience would surely leave the Lib Dems in disgust and join a decent campaigning party. (Here's a clue - not Labour!)


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