Where They Stand: Guide to party election policies

CONSERVATIVE
LABOUR
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Key Priorities
  • Aim to eliminate "the bulk" of the UK's structural deficit within five years beginning in 2010 with £6bn in cuts
  • Spending cuts in all areas apart from health and foreign aid
  • Allow charities, trusts, voluntary groups and co-operatives to set up new Academy schools, independent of local authority control, and to run other public services
  • Scrap identity card scheme
  • Recognise marriage in the tax system by allowing adults who are married or in a civil partnership to transfer up to £750 of their tax-free personal allowance to their spouse, as long as the higher-income member of the couple is a basic-rate taxpayer.
  • "Targeted" increase in public spending over the next year to "sustain the recovery", before cutting the deficit by more than 50% by 2014 and reducing the structural deficit by at least two-thirds over the next parliament
  • Protect "frontline investment" in childcare, schools, the NHS and policing
  • Ensure all people who suspect they have cancer get test results within one week
  • Restore the link between the state pension and earnings from 2012
  • Guarantee a place in education or training for all 16 and 17 year olds
  • Guarantee people aged 18-24 a job, work experience or training place if they are unemployed for more than six months
  • Give parents of one- and two-year-olds an extra £4 a week in Child Tax Credit for each child from 2012
  • Hold a referendum on adopting the Alternative Vote system for Westminster elections and making the House of Lords fully elected by October 2011.
  • Identify and cut £15bn of lower priority spending per year to protect front-line services while reducing structural deficit at least as fast as Labour plans, beginning in 2011
  • Raise the threshold at which people start paying income tax from £6,475 to £10,000
  • Impose "mansion tax" on the value of properties over £2m and increase capital gains tax to bring it into line with income tax
  • Introduce a banking levy until such time as banks' retail and investment arms can be separated
  • Scrap identity card scheme
  • Provide £2.5bn for a "Pupil Premium" for schools teaching the poorest pupils, allowing average primary school class sizes to be cut to 20
  • Replace the Council Tax with a Local Income Tax after a pilot phase
  • Introduce a written constitution and single transferable vote (STV) system for all UK elections
  • Allow voters to force a by-election for any MP found responsible for "serious wrongdoing".
Economy
  • Aim to eliminate "the bulk" of the UK's structural deficit within five years beginning in 2010 with £6bn in cuts
  • Spending cuts in all areas apart from health and foreign aid
  • Bank of England to supervise banks
  • Push for an international agreement to stop banks engaging in large-scale trading using their own money and a global levy on banks
  • Raise Inheritance Tax threshold to 1m
  • Scrap Labours planned 1% national insurance rise for people earning less than £35,000
  • Scrap Stamp Duty for first-time buyers on homes up to £250,000
  • Cut headline rate of corporation tax to 25p and the small companies’ rate to 20%
  • Cut civil service costs by a third over five years
  • Publish online all items of government spending over £25,000
  • Provide funding for two-year council-tax freeze
  • Set up an independent Office for Budget Responsibility to oversee the public finances
  • Freeze public sector pay for one year in 2011, excluding the one million lowest paid workers
  • Cut ministers’ pay by 5 per cent, followed by a five year freeze
  • Freeze major new government IT spending
  • Create a new Consumer Protection Agency to avoid repeat of financial crisis
  • Replace Labour’s employment schemes with a single Work Programme delivered through private and voluntary sector providers
  • "Targeted" increase in public spending over the next year to "sustain the recovery", before cutting the deficit by more than 50% by 2014 and reducing the structural deficit by at least two-thirds over the next parliament
  • 1% cap on public sector pay rises for 2011-12 and 2012-13
  • Introduced 50p tax rate on earnings over £150,000 and one-off tax on bankers' bonuses
  • 1% National Insurance increase in 2011
  • Pledge not to increase income tax or extend VAT to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and public transport
  • Protect "frontline investment" in childcare, schools, the NHS and policing
  • Compel banks to keep more capital and create 'living wills' to ensure any failures do not threaten the financial system
  • Work internationally to introduce a "global levy" on financial services
  • Break up banks in which the Government currently has a controlling stake
  • Set up a fund to channel £4bn of public and private investment into firms
  • Raise threshold of support for company takeovers to two-thirds of shareholders
  • Guarantee employment or training to those out of work for six months or more
  • Guaranteed job placement for those unemployed for more than two years
  • Increase the National Minimum Wage at least in line with average earnings over the period to 2015
  • Ensure that when someone comes off benefits, his or her family will be at least £40 a week better off through tax credits and minimum wage.
  • Supported Labours fiscal stimulus and bank bail-outs, but would have nationalised failing banks
  • Identify and cut £15bn per year of lower priority spending to protect front-line services while reducing structural deficit at least as fast as Labour plans, beginning in 2011
  • Redirect £3.1bn of public spending for a one-year "Green Stimulus", investing in green technology to create 100,00 jobs
  • Raise the threshold at which people start paying income tax from current levels to £10,000
  • Impose "mansion tax" on the value of properties over £2m and increase capital gains tax to bring it into line with income tax
  • Set a £400 pay rise cap for all public sector workers
  • Introduce a banking levy until such time as banks' retail and investment arms can be separated
  • Limit the length of time taxpayers are allowed to claim "non-domiciled" status to seven years
  • "restrict" tax credits
  • Force regulators to consider the public interest when assessing takeover bids.
Race Relations & Immigration
  • Bring down net immigration to 1990s levels
  • Ensure only economic migrants who will "bring the most value to the economy" are admitted
  • Support Labour’s Points-Based System, but also establish an annual limit for non-EU economic migrants
  • Set up a National Border Police Force with the power to stop, search, detain and arrest
  • Apply controls on migrants next time new countries join the EU
  • Enforce English language test for anyone coming to the UK to get married
  • Crack down on student visa abuse
  • Support community groups based on their effectiveness in countering poverty and deprivation rather than on the basis of ethnicity or faith
  • Improve availability of English language instruction for migrants.
  • Continue to tighten the newly-created points-based immigration system
  • Support the new Border Agency to guard ports and airports
  • Continued funding for electronic border controls to count people in and out of the country
  • Expand the Migration Impacts Fund to channel money to parts of the country which take in the most migrants
  • Introduced compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals
  • Continue to force employers to advertise skilled vacancies in job centres four weeks before appointing a skilled immigrant from outside the EU
  • Ensure migrants pass a tough English test before they arrive
  • Break the automatic link between staying in the UK for a set period and being able to settle or gain citizenship.
  • Create a National Border Force with police powers and reintroduce exit checks at all ports
  • Assess the needs and resources of UK regions as part of a points-based immigration scheme
  • Support a common EU asylum policy
  • Allow asylum seekers to work
  • End the detention of children in immigration detention centres
  • Increase cost to business of work permits for immigrant employees to pay for training British workers
  • Create an "earned route" to citizenship for illegal migrants who have been in the UK for 10 years, have no criminal record and speak English
  • Review social housing allocation policies to ensure fair treatment
  • Establish Independent Asylum Agency to improve decision making, and cut appeals
  • Introduce "name blanking" policy on job applications to cut discrimination.
Afghanistan & Defence
  • Supported military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and back continued presence in Afghanistan
  • Committed to replacing Trident to maintain the UK's independent nuclear deterrent
  • Would double the operational bonus for troops serving in Afghanistan
  • Provide university and further education scholarships for the children of servicemen and women killed while on active duty
  • Pilot a telephone service to track and monitor veterans’ mental health after they leave the Armed Forces
  • Introduce a US-style system of regular strategic defence reviews
  • Create a US-style National Security Council
  • Reduce operating costs of the Ministry of Defence by 25%
  • Launch a Strategic Defence and Security Review shortly after the election to establish the required level of defence spending for the future, the defence part of the review to report before the full Spending Review in the autumn
  • Protect the defence budget for 2010-11
  • Strengthen Britain’s defence relationships with the US and France.
  • Committed UK to military action in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • Ended active UK military involvement in Iraq
  • Aim to have 300,000 members of Afghan armed forces and police by the end of 2011, before shifting British troops mission to training and eventual withdrawal
  • Begin handing over responsibility for districts and provinces to Afghan forces later this year
  • Allow former Taleban fighters who are prepared to renounce links to Al Qaeda to have a role in political settlement
  • Will conduct Strategic Defence Review this year
  • Committed to replacing Trident to maintain the UK's independent nuclear deterrent
  • Increase defence co-operation with international partners, in particular France
  • Construct two new aircraft carriers
  • Offer free further or higher education up to first degree level for service leavers after six years of service
  • Ensure that service personnel and their families retain their places on NHS waiting lists when they move
  • Continued investment in accommodation for service personnel
  • Draw up a forces charter to enshrine in law the rights of forces, their families, and veterans.
  • "Critically support" mission in Afghanistan and believe that a political settlement with moderate Taleban is possible, allowing British troops to come home during the next Parliament
  • Hold an immediate Strategic Security and Defence Review
  • Cut spending on fighter jet procurement and operational costs and invest in helicopters for Afghanistan
  • Double the rate of modernisation of forces' family homes
  • Rule out the like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system
  • Halve the UKs stockpile of nuclear warheads as a prelude to kick-starting multilateral disarmament
  • Support the establishment of an International Arms Trade Treaty to limit the sale of arms to dangerous regimes.
Crime
  • Replace police authorities with directly-elected police commissioners, with responsibility for strategy and budgets
  • Strengthen stop and search powers to tackle knife crime
  • Give police the power to publicly identify offenders
  • Change the law so that anyone acting "reasonably" to stop a crime or apprehend a criminal is not arrested or prosecuted
  • Increase police and local authorities’ powers to remove licences from, or refuse to grant licences to problem bars
  • Allow the police to use "instant sanctions" to deal with anti-social behaviour, without criminalising young people unnecessarily
  • Reduce paperwork needed for stop and search procedures
  • Increase prison capacity above Labour’s plans, in order to scrap the early release scheme
  • Use private and voluntary sector groups to improve the rehabilitation of offenders, and pay providers by results
  • Allow courts to specify minimum and maximum sentences for certain offenders
  • Scrap ID cards and identity database.
  • Protect "frontline" police from budget cuts in 2011-2013
  • Ensure that if a police forces fails consistently, either its chief constable will be replaced or it will be taken over by a neighbouring force
  • Oppose elected police authorities or commissioners
  • "no-nonsense" one-to-one support for the 50,000 most "dysfunctional" families
  • Automatic parenting orders on those whose teenage children breach an Asbo
  • Guarantee an initial response to any complaint about anti-social behaviour within 24 hours and give complainers a named case worker who will report back on progress
  • Make restorative justice available wherever victims approve it, bringing home to criminals the consequences of their crimes
  • Add 15,000 prison places by 2014
  • Give local people a vote on what community service offenders should do
  • Ensure that serious offenders are added to the DNA database "no matter where or when they were convicted"
  • Retain for six years the DNA profiles of those arrested but not convicted.
  • Increase police numbers by 3,000 over five years
  • Scrap identity card scheme
  • Make police authorities directly elected, with powers to sack and appoint the Chief Constable, set local policing priorities, and set budgets
  • Annual fitness tests for police officers
  • Replace form-filling with new technology
  • Create a National Crime Reduction Agency to spread best practice through the force
  • Review police officers terms and conditions
  • Seek advice from Law Commission and Plain English Campaign to make paperwork more simple
  • Reduce the use of short sentences and encourage use of community sentencing to reduce prison overcrowding
  • Increase use of "restorative justice", forcing criminals to confront their behaviour.
Health
  • Increase health spending in real terms every year to 2015
  • Replace 'process' targets, such as maximum time before seeing a cancer specialist, with 'outcome' targets, such as number of people dying from cancer
  • Ensure all hospitals become Foundation Trusts
  • Put performance data online
  • Allow patients to choose any healthcare provider that meets NHS standards
  • Implement a 'payment for results' system throughout NHS
  • Link GPs' pay to results
  • Ensure that every patient can access a GP in their area between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week
  • Introduce a single phone number for every kind of urgent care
  • Cut the cost of NHS administration by a third
  • Create an independent NHS board
  • End mixed-sex wards
  • Increase the number of single rooms in hospitals
  • Give one million more people access to an NHS dentist
  • Allow retirees to prevent their homes from being sold to fund residential care costs by paying a one-off premium of £8,000 at retirement
  • Reject any proposals to fund care by levying charge on elderly people’s estates after death.
  • Protect "frontline" NHS from spending cuts
  • Ensure all hospitals become foundation trusts and allow successful foundation trusts to take over failing hospitals
  • Guarantee cancer patients will see a specialist within two weeks of diagnosis and get test results within one week
  • Give patients requiring elective care the legal right to choose from any provider who meets NHS standards of quality at NHS costs
  • Offer everyone between 40 and 74 free, five-yearly NHS health check
  • Guarantee NHS patients the legal right to wait no longer than 18 weeks from the moment of GP referral to hospital treatment
  • Give all patients access to a GP practice in their area that is open at evenings and weekends
  • One-to-one dedicated nursing for all cancer patients
  • Create a new national telephone number for non-emergency medical services
  • Establish national standards of hospital infection control that get tougher every year
  • Provide free personal care indefinitely for those in highest need from 2011
  • Meet elderly people's care costs after they have spent two years in residential care from 2014
  • Establish a "National Care Service" free at the point of use for all adults with an "eligible care need", with funding arrangements decided by a Commission by 2015.
  • Scrap Strategic Health Authorities
  • Create democratically elected local health boards with power to prevent hospital closures
  • Reduce number of health targets
  • Introduce "patient contracts" specifying what patients can expect from NHS
  • Make it easier to switch GP
  • Allow patients to register at more than one practice
  • Reform NHS dental contracts to encourage dentists back into the NHS
  • Extend access to end-of-life services and hospices
  • More cost-effective purchasing of drugs, including greater use of generic drugs
  • Establish an independent commission, with cross-party support, to develop proposals for long-term care of the elderly
  • Ban "below-cost" sale of alcohol and back minimum pricing "in principle".
Education
  • Allow charities, parent and teacher groups, and co-operatives to establish Academies - schools which are state funded but independent of local authority control
  • Allow every existing school - including primaries - to seek Academy status
  • Force schools that are in special measures for more than a year to be taken over immediately by a successful Academy provider
  • Give local parents the chance to take over schools threatened by closure
  • Create a Pupil Premium, giving more money to schools that teach the poorest children
  • Raise teacher training entry requirements
  • Allow state schools to offer the same international exams as private schools
  • Keep Key Stage 2 tests but make them more rigorous
  • Make it easier for teachers to use "reasonable force" to deal with violence
  • Give head teachers power to pay "good" teachers more
  • Scrap exclusions appeals process
  • Create 10,000 extra university places in 2010 and 400,000 work pairing, apprenticeship, college and training places over two years
  • Give bonuses for early repayment of student loans
  • Consider forthcoming findings of Browne Review of higher education funding.
  • Increase "frontline" spending on Sure Start, childcare, schools and 16-19 learning, but at a slower rate than in recent years
  • Continue roll-out of Academies independent of local authority control
  • Increase free nursery hours to 15 hours a week fro three- and four-year-olds
  • Give pupils legal guarantees of a quality education, including extra maths and English tuition for all 7 to 11 year olds who fall behind
  • Introduce "licence to practice" for teachers
  • Offer £10,000 'golden handcuffs' to attract the best teachers to the "most challenging" schools
  • Give parents the power to trigger a ballot on whether to bring in new leadership team from a proven provider if they are unhappy with their school's performance
  • Encourage schools to pool budgets in school chains, allowing stronger schools to raise standards in weaker schools
  • Introduce school "report cards", which would rate schools on a wide range of data, including exam performance, behaviour and parents' and children's views of a school
  • Introduce Local Pupil Premium, forcing local authorities to pass on extra funding to schools teaching the poorest pupils
  • Reject a return to the 11-plus
  • Give all secondary school pupils a "Personal Tutor of Studies"
  • Compulsory sex and relationship education for secondary school pupils
  • Guarantee a place in education or training for all 16 and 17 year olds
  • Expand apprenticeships by up to 70,000 a year
  • Retain tuition fees for higher education, and consider Lord Browne's forthcoming higher education funding review.
  • Replace Academies with "Sponsor Managed Schools", to be run by educational charities and private providers, but under local authority control, not Whitehall
  • Provide £2.5bn for a "Pupil Premium" for schools teaching the poorest pupils
  • Replace National Curriculum with a Minimum Curriculum Entitlement to allow teachers more flexibility
  • Create a General Diploma made up of GCSEs, A-Levels and vocational qualifications
  • "scale back" Key Stage 2 tests at age 11
  • Create an Education Standards Authority to monitor school standards independent of government
  • Increase apprenticeship numbers, and places on university and vocational higher education courses
  • Scrap the target of 50% of young people attending university
  • Scrap university tuition fees over six years
  • Guarantee Special Educational Needs (SEN) assessments for all 5-year-olds.
Family
  • End tax credits for families earning over £50,000
  • Let parents share maternity leave
  • Recognise marriage in the tax system by allowing adults who are married or in a civil partnership to transfer up to £750 of their tax-free personal allowance to their spouse, as long as the higher-income member of the couple is a basic-rate taxpayer
  • End government contributions to Child Trust Funds for all but the poorest third of families and families with disabled children
  • End the "couple penalty" for all couples in the tax credit system
  • Re-focus SureStart on the "neediest" families
  • Provide 4,200 more health visitors
  • Support free nursery care for pre-school children, from a range of private and public providers
  • Extend the right to request flexible working to every parent with a child under the age of 18.
  • Reject Conservative plans to "recognise" marriage in the tax system
  • Protect the Child Trust Fund
  • Aim to end child poverty by 2020
  • Increase free nursery hours to 15 hours a week for three- and four-year-olds
  • Provide nursery places for 20,000 two-year-olds in the most deprived areas by 2012
  • Provide two extra outreach workers for 1,500 SureStart community support centres in most disadvantaged areas
  • Fund two parenting advisers in every local authority
  • Pioneer mutual federations running groups of local children's centres
  • Guarantee primary school pupils childcare from 8am until 6pm in term-time at school to help working parents
  • Double paid paternity leave to four weeks
  • Continue to provide nine months of paid maternity leave, but no extension to 12 months
  • Allow mothers to share maternity leave with fathers after six months
  • Give parents of one- and two-year-olds an extra £4 a week in Child Tax Credit for each child from 2012.
  • Allow parents to share maternity leave, and extend it to 18 months when resources allow
  • Give fathers the right to time off for ante-natal appointments
  • Extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, not just parents and carers
  • Fix the payments of tax credits for six months at a time so that payments are stable and predictable
  • "restrict" tax credits to "those who need them most"
  • End government payments into Child Trust Funds
  • Maintain the commitment to end child poverty in the UK by 2020.
Environment
  • Want 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • Aim to generate 15% of energy from renewables by 2020
  • Offer every household the right to have up to £6,500 worth of home insulation, with the costs being met from the savings that arise
  • Create a Green Investment Bank to coordinate investment in green technology
  • Encourage micro-generation of electricity with feed-in tariffs
  • Use "smart grid" and "smart meter" technology to match supply and demand and enable greater take-up of renewable energy
  • Establish at least two Marine Energy Parks
  • Speed up the planning process for new nuclear power plants
  • Only permit coal-fired power stations to be built with clean carbon technology
  • Cut central government’s carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months
  • Encourage a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • Ensure all new homes are energy efficient from 2016
  • Reform the Climate Change Levy to provide a floor price for carbon
  • Ensure that any additional revenues from new green taxes are used to reduce the burden of taxation elsewhere
  • A new criminal offence under UK law for the import and possession of illegal timber.
  • Work for a legally binding international climate change agreement to limit global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050
  • Aim to have 40% of UK electricity come from "low-carbon" sources by 2020, including 15% from renewable sources
  • Match £1bn private funds with £1bn public funding for a "Green Bank" to drive investment in renewable energy
  • Create 400,000 new green jobs by 2015
  • Establish a levy to raise £9.5bn for investment in carbon capture technology
  • Changed planning system to encourage a new generation of nuclear power stations
  • Continue to increase the Renewables Obligation, a tax to force electricity suppliers to embrace renewable energy
  • Make energy suppliers roll out "smart meters" for all homes by 2020
  • Introduce 'pay-as-you-save' home insulation schemes
  • Ensure that all household lofts and cavity walls are insulated, "where practical", by 2015
  • Ban bio-degradable and recyclable material from landfills
  • Campaign for an EU-wide ban on illegally logged timber, banning it domestically if this does not succeed.
  • Aim for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases emissions by 2020, rising to 100% by 2050
  • Set a target for 40% of UK electricity to come from "clean, non-carbon-emitting sources" by 2020, rising to 100% by 2050
  • Raise fuel duty in line with economic growth
  • Effective insulation for all homes within decade
  • Ensure all new homes energy efficient from 2010
  • Set up a UK Infrastructure Bank to channel private investment into green infrastructure, including £400m to repurpose shipyards to make wind turbines
  • Offer a home energy improvement package of up to £10,000 per home, paid for by the savings from lower energy bills
  • Replace air passenger duty with a per-plane tax
  • Tax domestic flights to encourage rail use
  • "smart metering" for gas and electricity in five years
  • "smart grid" to boost use of renewables
  • Give "feed-in" tariff customers a better deal to encourage more micro-generation
  • Extend the new carbon trading scheme
  • Oppose new nuclear power plants
  • Ensure all new coal-fired power generation plants use carbon capture technology
  • Adopt at EU - or, if necessary, at UK - level a new law making it illegal to import or possess timber produced illegally in foreign countries.
Pensions
  • Restore the link between the state pension and earnings
  • Bring forward the rise in the state pension age to 66, although no sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women
  • Look at how to abolish the default retirement age, to allow older people who wish to carry on working to do so
  • End compulsory annuities at 75
  • Simplify the rules to encourage companies to offer pension schemes
  • Cap public sector pensions above £50,000
  • "protect" the Winter Fuel Payment, free bus passes, pension credit and free TV licences for pensioners
  • Support auto-enrolment for low and middle income earners into employer-run pension schemes.
  • Restore the link between the state pension and earnings by 2012 and increase pension credit in line with earnings
  • Continue to give older people Winter Fuel Payments, concessionary public-transport fares, free eye tests and prescriptions and free TV licences for the over-75s
  • Increase pension age for women to 65 in 2020 and to 68 for both men and women between 2024 and 2046
  • Require employers to automatically enrol employees into either an in-house pension scheme or the state-run Personal Accounts scheme
  • Look at ways to abolish the default retirement age
  • Give older people the right to request flexible working, if they wish to look after grandchildren
  • Enable people aged 60 and over to claim Working Tax Credit if they work at least 16 hours a week, down from 30 hours currently.
  • Immediately move to uprate the state pension annually by whichever is the higher of growth in earnings, growth in prices or 2.5%
  • Restrict tax relief on pension contributions to the basic rate
  • In the long-term, introduce a Citizens Pension that will be paid to all UK citizens, based on residence, not contribution history
  • Use savings from public sector pension reform to boost the state pension
  • Scrap the default retirement ages
  • Allow older people to draw part of their private or occupational pension whilst working part-time
  • Scrap the rule forcing people to buy an annuity when they reach age 75
  • Delay age-related Winter Fuel Payment until people reach 65, but extend it to all severely disabled people.
Housing
  • Scrap house-building targets but incentivise building by matching local authorities’ council tax take for each new house for six years
  • Create Local Housing Trusts to develop homes for local people where there is strong community backing (no more than 10% opposition in a local referendum)
  • Give social tenants with five years of good behaviour a 10% equity stake in their properties
  • Scrap Stamp Duty for first-time buyers on homes up to £250,000
  • Abolish Home Information Packs.
  • Establish Local Authority Housing Companies to give councils a greater role in building new affordable housing
  • Continue to enforce Home Information Packs
  • Continue home ownership schemes for people who need help to buy a home
  • Keep stamp duty threshold at 125,000, but abolish it for people in home ownership schemes and scrap it for two years for first time buyers on homes up to 250,000
  • Continue £7.5bn investment to 2011 to build 110,000 extra affordable homes
  • Reform the council house financing system to enable local authorities to maintain properties at the Decent Home standard and to build up to 10,000 council houses a year by 2015
  • Ensure all new homes are zero carbon by 2016
  • Committed to ending rough sleeping by 2012.
  • Scrap regional house-building targets and allow local authorities to determine how many and what type of homes are needed in their area
  • Build tens of thousands of affordable houses to rent
  • Ensure council houses sold under Right to Buy are replaced
  • Allow local authorities to keep 100% of the capital receipts from Right to Buy sales
  • Create a new system of Safe Start mortgages that protect buyers from negative equity
  • "scale back" Homebuy schemes
  • Offer "Green Loans" for people to invest in home energy efficiency and micro-renewables
  • Bring 250,000 empty homes back into use by offering grants and loans to their owners
  • Scrap Home Information Packs, but retain energy performance certificates.
Europe & Foreign Affairs
  • Opposed Lisbon Treaty, but will not reverse it
  • Pass a law to require a referendum on any future treaty that transfers power from Britain to the EU
  • UK Sovereignty Bill, to ensure ultimate authority stays in Parliament
  • Law to ensure any abolition of national veto would require MPs' approval
  • Rule out Euro entry
  • Support Turkish membership of EU
  • Would negotiate a full opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Working Time Directive
  • Expand UN Security Council to include Germany, Japan, Brazil, India and African representation
  • Support a two state solution for Israel and Palestine
  • Back "concerted international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon
  • Increase foreign aid to 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2013
  • Give British people a direct say on part of aid spending
  • Support humanitarian military intervention when it is practical and necessary.
  • Support euro in principle, but only if approved in a referendum, and no current plans to enter
  • Support Turkey and Croatia for EU membership, and believe negotiations for accession of all Western Balkan countries should begin by 2014
  • Maintain social and employment rules like the Working Time Directive
  • Deepen Britain's relationship with emerging powers like India, China and Brazil
  • Support German, Japanese, Indian and Brazilian membership of the UN Security Council and permanent representation from Africa
  • Support a two state solution for Israel and Palestine
  • Seek diplomatic resolution of Iran's nuclear ambitions
  • Increase foreign aid to 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2013
  • Support campaign for a legally binding global arms trade treaty in 2012.
  • Strongly support continued EU membership
  • Would opt in to pan-European justice policies
  • Encourage greater European security and defence co-operation
  • Support Euro membership in principle, but no plans for early entry
  • Support the right of nations to intervene if foreign governments engage in large-scale violations of human rights, but force should only be used as a last resort and be authorised by the UN Security Council, in all but exceptional circumstances
  • Support a two state solution for Israel and Palestine and believe Britain and the EU must put pressure on Israel and Egypt to end the blockade of Gaza
  • Support diplomatic efforts to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons, but oppose military action
  • Committed to increasing foreign aid to 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2013.
Local Government
  • Provide funding for a two-year council tax freeze
  • Abolish the regional tier of planning and give councils control over planning and housing
  • Replace Regional Development Agencies with business-led local enterprise partnerships
  • Give councils greater control over spending
  • Allow local residents to block "high" council tax rises
  • Hold referendums on whether to have directly-elected mayors in 12 of England’s largest cities outside London
  • Allow local people to trigger referendums on "issues of local importance" by amassing petitions signed by 5% of local people over a six month period
  • Use Cabinet Office budgets to fund the training of independent community organisers to help people establish and run neighbourhood groups.
  • Continue selective capping of "excessive" rises in council tax
  • Rule out Council Tax revaluation in the next Parliament
  • Establish a cross-party commission to review the future of local government finance scrap regional assemblies and divide their responsibilities between regional development agencies and committees of council leaders
  • Give "city-regions" additional power over transport, skills and economic development and option of directly-elected mayors where there is local demand.
  • Replace the Council Tax with a Local Income Tax after a pilot phase
  • Introduce proportional representation for local elections
  • Scrap nationally-set targets and performance indicators
  • Abolish budget capping
  • Set business rates locally
  • Give councils control over housing and planning
  • Allow local authorities to keep 100% of the capital receipts from Right to Buy sales
  • Reform Regional Development Agencies or scrap them where they do not have strong local support.
Transport
  • Support London Crossrail project but do not guarantee to match Labour's funding plan
  • Develop a high speed rail network connecting cities across England, Scotland and Wales, with construction of the first stage to begin in 2015
  • Block the third runway at Heathrow but link airport to high-speed rail line
  • Oppose second runways at Stansted and Gatwick
  • Break up BAA monopoly over airports in the South-East
  • Expand the remit of the Office of Rail Regulation to focus on consumers
  • Give passengers and train operators a stronger voice on Network Rail's board
  • Oppose road-pricing
  • Introduce "Fair Fuel Stabiliser" to reduce fuel duty as oil prices rise and increase it as oil prices fall
  • Introduce incentives for electricity network operators to establish a national electric car recharging network
  • Stop funding new fixed speed cameras and switch to "better" road safety measures.
  • Build a new high-speed rail line, initially linking London to Birmingham, Manchester, the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds, and eventually extending to the North and Scotland
  • Maintain funding for London Crossrail project
  • Electrify new rail-lines including the line from London to South Wales
  • Rule out the introduction of national road pricing in the next parliament
  • Targeted motorway widening including on the M25
  • Support third runway at Heathrow, but reject extra runways at any other UK airport in the next Parliament
  • Create 100,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2015
  • Support tram schemes and light-rail projects in major cities
  • Give more councils London-style powers to regulate bus services if providers are not "serving communities well"
  • Block third runway at Heathrow and any expansion of other airports in the South East
  • Switch freight traffic from road to rail by investing in rail improvement, paid for by cutting major roads budget
  • Support Crossrail and North-South high-speed rail, but would prefer more private sector funding
  • Ensure that regulated rail fares rise below inflation
  • Make Network Rail refund a third of passengers' ticket price if they have to take a rail replacement bus service
  • Committed in the long-term to a revenue-neutral road-user pricing scheme on motorways and trunk roads
  • Give local authorities more control over bus services
  • Require new office blocks and other places of employment to have proper facilities for cycling.
Rural Affairs
  • Overhaul farming regulations to reduce paperwork
  • Support reform of EU farming subsidies
  • Help consumers to "buy British" by changing rules on food labelling
  • Give MPs a free vote to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs
  • Block commercial planting of GM crops until and unless they have been assessed as safe
  • Appoint a Supermarket Ombudsman
  • Allow villages and rural towns to create new community-led bodies with planning powers to develop homes for local people
  • Give local people the power to protect "community assets" like pubs and post offices
  • Abolish regional planning and Regional Spatial Strategies
  • Use Department of Transport funds to pilot rural dial-a-ride transport services
  • Use the under-spend from the digital switchover scheme to fund universal broadband of 2 Mbps
  • Allow Post Offices to offer a wider range of services
  • Provide more support for new parents in rural areas by increasing the number of health visitors.
  • Transform the Post Office into a "People's Bank"
  • Support pubs that have "a viable future" with a new fund for community ownership in 2010-11
  • Sustain area of green-belt land and maintain the target that 60 % of new development should be on brownfield land
  • Extend the "right to roam" to the whole English coastline
  • Allowed free vote that led to ban on fox hunting, hare coursing, hare hunting and stag hunting
  • Continue to press for reform of EU farming subsidies so farmers are paid for sustainable land management
  • Put pressure on the EU to tighten up food origin labelling
  • Create a Supermarket Ombudsman to ensure fairness for farmers
  • Continue to assess GM crops on a case-by-case basis
  • Committed to universal broadband access by 2012, paid for by a levy on fixed phone lines
  • Strengthen the duty on councils to protect viable shops, pubs and community facilities.
  • Promote affordable rural housing by increasing local authorities powers over second homes and promoting schemes such as "Equity Mortgage" affordable homes
  • Push for reform of EU farming subsidies, introducing a minimum level for the Single Farm Payment
  • Support rural shops with a Small Shops Protection Bill
  • Provide support for rural outreach clinics or home visits from GPs, district nurses and dentists
  • Modernise the Post Office network to stop closures
  • Create a legally binding supermarket code to stop supermarket exploitation of farmers
  • Work with the EU to make sure country-of-origin labels identify the source of the products, not where they are packaged
  • Oppose commercial growing of GM crops.
Civil Liberties
  • Would scrap ID cards and identity database
  • Replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights
  • Opposed the extension of pre-charge detention limit to 42 days, preferring 28-day maximum
  • Launch a full review of the Control Orders system designed to protect the public against terrorism
  • Strip local authorities of surveillance powers
  • Review the Preventing Violent Extremism Strategy, which has been accused of encouraging spying on innocent Muslims
  • Support DNA database, but would ensure DNA from innocent people is removed.
  • Attempted to extend pre-charge detention limit to 42 days, but now committed to 28-day limit
  • Will require all foreign nationals to hold an ID card by 2011
  • Scrapped plans for compulsory ID cards for everyone, but would continue to register passport holders on a National Identity Database and to allow voluntary take-up of ID cards
  • Ensure that serious offenders are added to the DNA database "no matter where or when they were convicted"
  • Retain for six years the DNA profiles of those arrested but not convicted
  • Make sure that UK police and security services "will not co-operate" with those who use torture.
  • Would reduce the pre-charge detention limit to 14 days and scrap control orders
  • Allow intercept evidence in trials
  • Would introduce a written constitution, pending approval in a referendum, that defines and limits the power of government, including a Bill of Rights to protect individual rights
  • Oppose control orders
  • Scrap ID cards and identity database
  • End permanent storage of the DNA of innocent people without their consent
  • Establish an inquiry into allegations of UK complicity in torture
  • Allow parents to stop their children being fingerprinted at school
  • More regulation of CCTV
  • Extend the Freedom of Information Act to all public bodies
  • Legislate to protect non-violent protest
  • Reform libel laws to protect free speech.
Constitutional Reform
  • Replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights
  • Introduce individual voter registration
  • Give non-English MPs less of a say on England-only legislation
  • Allow voters to recall MPs found guilty of serious wrongdoing
  • Ban ex-ministers from lobbying for two years after leaving office
  • Cut the number of MPs by 10%
  • Force Parliament to debate a motion or bill if 100,000 voters petition for it
  • Equalise constituency electorate size
  • Reject voting system reform
  • Limit special adviser numbers
  • "work to build a consensus" for a mainly-elected House of Lords
  • Oppose reform of Westminster voting system
  • Support party funding reform, including caps on individual donations
  • Support tax-raising powers for Scottish Parliament and will not stand in the way of a referendum on law-making powers for Welsh Assembly.
  • Would hold a referendum on adopting the Alternative Vote system for Westminster elections and making the House of Lords fully elected by October 2011
  • Set up an all-party commission to "chart a course" to a Written Constitution
  • Retain the Human Rights Act
  • Give MPs a free vote on reducing the voting age to 16
  • Introduce fixed-term parliaments
  • Allow voters to "recall" corrupt MPs if parliament has failed to act against them
  • Create a Statutory Register of Lobbyists and ban MPs from working for "generic" lobbying companies
  • Support tax-raising powers for Scottish Parliament and referendum on law-making powers for Welsh Assembly
  • Accept cap on political donations as part of reform package that includes increased state funding of political parties and reduced spending limits
  • Give voters the right to petition the House of Commons to trigger debates.
  • Introduce a written constitution, pending approval in a referendum, including a Bill of Rights
  • Single transferable vote (STV) system for all UK elections
  • Allow voters to force a by-election for any MP found responsible for "serious wrongdoing"
  • Replace House of Lords with smaller, elected second chamber
  • Support tax-raising powers for Scottish Parliament and law-making powers for Welsh Assembly
  • Cut MP numbers by 150
  • Reduce minister numbers
  • Referendums on directly elected regional assemblies in England
  • Cap political donations and £10,000 and limit political party spending, but boost state funding
  • Give 16-year-olds the right to vote and stand for election
  • Debate six legislative proposals a year that prove most popular with voters
  • Introduce fixed four year parliamentary terms
  • Introduce a statutory register of lobbyists.
Manifestos

Manifesto

Party profile | Website

Manifesto

Party profile | Website

Manifesto

Party profile | Website

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