BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Wednesday, 6 September, 2000, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Lib Dem pre-manifesto at a glance
The main policies of the Liberal Democrats pre-manifesto document, Freedom in a Liberal Society:


  • Invest in the NHS by recruiting and beginning to train an extra 5,000 doctors and an extra 20,000 nurses over three years.

  • Cut prescription charges and tackle the postcode lottery in prescribing medicines by creating a new Pharmaceuticals Agency to work alongside the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to negotiate drug purchases.

  • Scrap charges for dental and eye check-ups, using funding from a 10p increase on cigarettes.


  • Reduce class sizes for five to 11-year-olds a maximum average class size of 25 in primary schools.

  • Provide free nursery places for all three- and four-year-olds whose parents want them.

  • Abolish tuition fees for university students.

    Pensions, wages and benefits

  • Increase the basic state pension and make extra payments to the over-75s and over-80s.

  • Reduce taxation for the lowest paid by abolishing the 10p starting rate of income tax.

  • Introduce a new top rate tax of 50p on those earning more than 100,000 a year.

  • Increase child benefit for the youngest child under five and scrap the Child Support Agency.

    Law and order

  • Provide funding for an extra 6,000 police officers.

  • Give victims or their families greater rights to be heard in court.


  • Improve public transport with funding from urban congestion and workplace car parking charges.

  • Lower freight vehicle excise duty.

  • Economy

  • Strengthen the independence of the Bank of England.

  • Set out a positive timetable and policies for achieving a sustainable entry into the euro.

    Business and innovation

  • Cut business rates for small businesses.

  • Promote a knowledge-based economy by boosting research and promoting links between universities and businesses.


  • Work to introduce a form of proportional representation through the Single Transferrable Vote system.

  • Replace the House of Lords with a smaller directly elected Senate.

  • Lower the voting age to 16 and allow people to stand for office at the same age.

    Civil liberties

  • Pass an Equality Act to tackle all discrimination and create a Human Rights Commission.

  • Retain the right to jury trials which is under threat from the government's Mode of Trial Bill.

  • Replace the voucher system for asylum seekers and ensure their applications are dealt with in a speedy, fair way.


  • Argue for a constitution for the European Union and strengthen anti-fraud measures.


  • Work for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and push for a new round of arms reduction talks.

  • End subsidies for arms sold to foreign regimes by ending the practice of the Export Credit Guarantee Department.

  • Search BBC News Online

    Advanced search options
    Launch console
    See also:

    06 Sep 00 | UK Politics
    Lib Dems' election fight against poverty
    06 Sep 00 | UK Politics
    Kennedy pledges progressive policies
    Internet links:

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.

    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more UK Politics stories