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Programme highlights Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Kennedy defends 'radical' manifesto
Charles Kennedy's manifesto is a recycled, tabloid newspaper-style document
Charles Kennedy: insists manifesto is "radical"
The Liberal Democrats' new tabloid manifesto will - according to Charles Kennedy - set a trend for everyone else to follow.

The party says the document, entitled "Freedom, Justice and Honesty", presents a radical vision, but an initial view suggests otherwise.

Many of the most distinctive Liberal ideas - which have characterised previous campaigns - have been buried towards the back of the manifesto.

Their long-held pledge to improve public services by raising taxes - a penny in the basic rate and an increase in the top rate from 40% to 50% - does make it into their plans.

But what of electoral reform, Europe and freedom of information?

'Duty'

The LibDem leader Charles Kennedy insisted that his party was the only one honest enough to explain that better services had to be funded through progressive taxation.

Dame Shirley Williams
Dame Shirley Williams: The electorate want to have the choice to pay more
"It's the government's duty to invest more in health, education and to look after pensioners.

"These big priorities are the priorities of the overwhelming majority of people in this country," he said.

He said he wanted to propose "a small price for a big benefit" with his tax-raising plans - something the other parties were too timid to consider.

Mr Kennedy insisted it was radical for his party to put the environment centre-stage on every policy - rather than see it relegated to an afterthought.

Baroness Williams told the World at One that it was true radicalism to believe the electorate would pay more for better services.

She said people were suspicious of Labour and Conservative pledges of more teachers, nurses and policemen, but they believed Lib Dem plans because they acknowledged the need to pay for them.

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Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams
"We believe the electorate is more gerenous than other parties give them credit for"
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