Tuesday, 22 March 2005


The Lib Dems today launch a campaign, but they won’t talk about the issues that matter– more police, school discipline, cleaner hospitals, lower taxes and controlled immigration – and they won’t talk about many of their real policies. LibDems would:
Oppose tough punishments for criminals. LibDems would scrap mandatory sentences for murderers & repeat rapists (LibDem Policy Paper 51, Justice & the Community, Jun 02, p 42).
2. Propose higher council tax. Lib Dem councils talk more, cost more, deliver less and their local income tax would cost a typical hard-working couple in England £630 a year more than even today’s council tax (Local Gov Precepts, Band D 2004-5, ODPM Press Release, 25 Mar 04; correlated with Party control at Mar 04).
3. Propose 40 higher taxes. Lib Dems have already pledged to raise taxes 40 times to help pay for their own 100 spending commitments. And they have no way of filling the ‘black hole’ in Mr Blair’s financial plans, so they will be forced to raise taxes even further. They have even admitted this, saying ‘Our slogan at the next election will be “Trust us, we will put your taxes up”’ (Andrew George on Radio 5 Live, Simon Mayo Show, 19 Jan 05).
4. Oppose controlled immigration. Lib Dems would give Europe control of our immigration system and would oppose any limit on numbers (LibDem Policy Development Paper, Safe Havens, Sept 04, p. 11).
5. Propose abolishing good schools. Lib Dems want to abolish faith schools, grammar schools and specialist schools – the types of school that are doing well and where discipline is good (Phil Willis, Speech to Lib Dem Party Conference, 9 Mar 02).
6. Propose more tax on transport. Lib Dems would impose new congestion and parking taxes on drivers and new taxes on air travel for hard-working families (Lib Dem Press Release, 15 Oct 03 & Lib Dem Policy Paper 46, Transport for People, Aug 01, p.26).
7. Propose health plans that don’t work. Lib Dems want to rename and ring-fence National Insurance Contributions to fund the NHS (Lib Dem Policy Paper 53, Quality, Innovation, Choice, Sept 02, p. 53). This would leave a shortfall of £15 billion by 2007-8. So to avoid jeopardising NHS funding, they would therefore have to increase their renamed National Insurance every year.
8. Oppose extending home ownership – and impose unwanted development against local people’s wishes (Lib Dem Internal Briefing Document, Housing Full Portfolio Briefing, Aug 02, p. 13 & Lib Dem Press Release, 6 Feb 01).
9. Propose handing control of our defence to Europe. Lib Dems think we should rely on Europe to provide Britain’s defence (Lib Dem Policy Paper 47, Defending Democracy, 02, p. 16).
10. Propose handing over more powers to Europe. LibDems would scrap the pound & join the euro (Lib Dem Policy Briefing 34, Policies on Membership of the Single Currency, May 04), and give unelected judges and bureaucrats more control of our lives by signing the European Constitution (Lib Dem Press Release, Britain should do everything it can for EU Constitution, 28 Nov 03).

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