Charles Kennedy has unveiled the Lib Dems' election manifesto two days after becoming a father.
The Lib Dems say they will replace council tax with a new local income tax while six million pensioners will pay no local tax at all.
The party has also promised to provide free personal care to elderly and disabled people, reduce primary school class sizes as well as scrap university tuition and top-up fees.
However, the Lib Dems' crime policies is set to be attacked in a new Tory poster, while Tony Blair will dub Labour the wealth creation party.
What do you think of the Lib Dems' manifesto? How does it compare to the other parties? Are you persuaded by it? Send us your views.
This debate is now closed. Thank you for you comments. You can read a selection of them below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
They are honest about services which need improving, and need paying for. Sure, taxes will go up, but everyone will be in the same situation. And if it means I won't have to pay ridiculous "top up fees" then I'm all for it. An extra few hundred pounds a year? Or cancelled buses/trains, unjust wars and diseased hospitals?
William, Liverpool, England
The high earners will find ways to avoid the Liberal tax grabbing and they will be forced to attack the living standards of middle income Britain. The Lib Dems will have me paying so much tax that I will be forced to sell my house. No doubt they will make it available to someone out of the millions of bogus asylum seekers that the Liberals will open the door to.
Honest enough to tell us someone has to pay for public services so no chance of getting in as most people just want tax cuts and no immigration!!
Adam, Stoke, England
I will "probably" be voting Lib Dem. However I have concerns regarding how their local income tax plans to replace the council tax will be implemented. What happens in the councils that have proportionally more pensioners/lower income families than higher income households to offset the tax? Has anyone thought of this?
Jackie Duck, Saltburn, Cleveland
I suppose you have to admire the bare faced cheek of it. Virtually the entire manifesto revolves around stealing the property of one section of the population and then handing it out as bribes to another larger group. But it's morally ok apparently because it's been given a pompous new name - 'social justice'.
Mike Routhorn, Weston-Super-Mare, UK
The Lib Dems would better spend their efforts on voting reform. The election rules are so heavily slanted towards Labour and the Tories, they can't win even if they get the most votes.
R I Carling, Cambridge UK
A vote for the Liberals is a vote for Labour, they have said that if Parliament is hung they will not support the Tories, so would have to give their support to Labour. As they have done in the past. I cannot believe the people of Britain are going to let Blair get away with what he has over the last eight years.
Apart from being a little soft on crime the manifesto is excellent. They've got my vote.
Once again the parties forget about single working people. Local council tax is fine if you are a couple with only one working but for a working single person it's a disaster. Charles Kennedy claimed the point in earnings where local council tax becomes more then the current method is £40,000pa. Not for a single person it isn't. It's way below that.
Jeff, Redditch, Worcs.
They say they'll scrap the useless and expensive national ID card. That's sounds good enough for me.
Paul, Leeds, UK
I will be very interested in seeing how the Lib Dems intend to pay for personal care for the elderly. My aunt is currently being charged £820 PER WEEK to live in a very ordinary nursing home. Somebody is making a huge profit out of her. Will the taxpayer foot such a bill? Good intentions but I really don't think it has been thought through.
Sheila Woolley, Liverpool
It's interesting that so many of those in favour of Kennedy's policies are Scottish. Maybe they see Kennedy's policies as a way to take yet more hard-earned money from the pockets of English voters, to be wasted in Scotland? Roll on independence from Scotland!
Russell Long, UK
I do not think the manifesto is very good at all. But as the Labour one is diabolical, the Conservative one is worse and the SNP seems just to be an actor who loves Scotland so much he lives more than 1,000 miles away, I think the Lib Dems are still favourite for my vote. What a negative and depressing election.
Jonathan Kelk, Dalry, Scotland
Tax, tax and yet more tax. In the unlikely event of a Lib Dem election win, I shall quit my job and apply for every benefit I can get, I will be better off that way. If I still can't manage I will just commit a crime and relax in fail for a "short" period of time. When I get out I will go back to university and do a funded degree in the - history of snail racing.
Dave G, Hereford UK
Honesty, that's the difference you get with the Lib Dems. People are complaining that local income tax works out higher for some of them. But the Lib Dems have the courage to put that calculator on their website so you can see exactly how much you'll pay. Labour and the Tories pretend you won't pay more taxes, and then they do it by stealth once they're in power. People, think of the rest of society, not just yourselves. Vote honest, vote Lib Dem!
Mike, Milton Keynes
The Lib Dems are in complete denial about immigration, asylum and multiculturism. I agree with a lot of their policies, but to deny we have a cultural time bomb ticking is stupid and dangerous.
By saying that they want to introduce local income tax the Liberal Democrats will be alienating the younger generation who still live at home with their parents who don't pay council tax as they cannot afford to move out. How are young people supposed to get on the housing ladder if there tax bill keeps rising.
Kevin D, Eastbourne
The Lib Dems are the only party I think you can trust. I like the fact they are up front about increased tax and seem to be less vindictive that Labour and the Tories. As a child of the eighties I learnt not to trust the Tories. As a student and adult in the nineties Labour promised so much and failed to deliver. I think the time is right for a third party to have a chance.
The Liberal Democrats should be renamed the Bandwagon Party. It is impossible to take anything they say seriously because they have no core ideology and simply promote whatever sounds at the time. Of course all parties do this to some degree, but a glance at their half-hearted 'green' policies in today's press exemplify their cut and paste approach to policy-making. The only truly radical party are the Greens themselves.
I can't understand why the Lib Dems would go ahead with such a daft policy as a local income tax. I think it is unfair that a pensioner can live in a million pound house and theoretically pay nil towards local services. Surely the best system is to add 0.5% on VAT which would be earmarked for the area in which it was spent. Everyone would be contributing to local services including visitors, the well off would end up paying more because they spend more.
Michael Haugh, Torquay
Having been at the Scottish Parliament today hearing disabled people talking about the sort of money they are having to pay to social work, I believe the only fair policy is to bring in free care for everybody. I will consider voting for the Liberal Democrats partially because their policies seem to be about fairness and justice.
Gareth , Edinburgh
Mr Kennedy has one big advantage over the other party leaders. He can promise anything he likes safe in the knowledge that he will never have to deliver.
Robert J Barnard, Barnsley, UK
My Lib Dem vote was going to be tactical - they've a chance of beating the Tories where I live. But their impressive manifesto, far to the left of Labour and akin to the Nordic countries' commitment to social justice, means that my tactical vote shall now be one of conviction.
Open the doors in and out of the country and while the professionals flee, Charles Kennedy will be there to welcome the refugees who will not be earning anywhere near £100k and the pensioners will suffer the consequences. It's all happened before and will happen again. The Lib Dems have blown it and it will be back to the drawing board after this election is over.
Roger Mereweather, Sandown, IW, UK
At least the Lib Dems are open about their policies. There a plenty of people in this country that would love to be able to complain about the 50% tax on earnings above £100K a year. People seem to have little or no compassion for the poorer working class, but they are quick to complain when the service does not live up to their expectations in the local supermarket or department store. Workers like these are needed for an economy to run. I am sick of the selfish and individualist policies of the Tories and New Labour is not much better.
Chris Hough, Nottingham
I was hoping none of the parties would mention getting out of Iraq. That happened just before the last election in Spain - the Madrid bombings were the result. One can only hope that the terrorists don't try to repeat their success.
It would seem the Lib Dems are the "New Old Labour". Their policies are left of Labour. Funny how they change them every election in order to try and appeal to the wavering voters of the weakening party. Last time it was the Tories, this time its Labour (and mainly on the back of the anti-war vote).
How can they increase spending and cut taxes for most people, it doesn't make sense.
Andrew Harvey, Bristol
If the Lib Dems deliver a good results this election, it may force the major parties to reconsider their policies and bring them back to be more in tune with the general public. I don't think a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote, but rather a potential wake-up call to the traditional parties.
Adnan, Houston, USA
What the Lib Dems propose may be the different and refreshing, however, little is said of their other policies such as scrapping the monarchy, immediate joining of the single currency and European constitution - with no referendum! Most sick of all is their proposal to make it legal for 16 and 17 year-olds to work in the porn industry. These are the things people hear a lot less of.
Matthew Pidd, Sheffield S.Yorks
As a student I feel the Lib Dems are most worthy of my vote. If people continuously insist that voting for them is a wasted vote then we will never see the end of the Labour vs Conservative tug of war.
Joe, West Yorkshire
We've a Lib Dem run council in Liverpool and they have worked like Trojans to undo the damage caused by the militant Labour council of the 80s. Our ward is Labour (Jane Kennedy) and myself, my husband and my usually staunchly Conservative parents will all be voting strategically in the hope that the Lib Dem candidate can take this seat. The only wasted vote is one not cast.
The Lib Dems are just like Labour - offering bribes and shortcuts which someone else other than you will actually pay for. I'm one of the people who always seems to pay, yet isn't rich and in the affluent South East and hasn't seen any of the improved services apparently enjoyed by most Britons already.
M Lewis, Caterham
What's fair about working hard and earning more to provide for your family, to be rewarded for this by paying more tax?
I think the proposal for local income tax makes much more sense. Council tax is not fair to us renters, it should be the landlord paying it, or we pay local income tax. I'll be happy to do that, and voting Lib Dem.
Taxes are too low and the Tories want to decrease taxes further. We already fund our NHS at way below the EU average. We have to decide what kind of country we want to live in: one with good healthcare, education and high quality public services or one where public services are run on a shoe string like they were under the Tories.
Ivar Bundulis, Edinburgh
Everybody's manifesto seems to be geared towards families. I don't have children, I never intend to have children and I resent having to pay taxes towards education and maternity and paternity leave. When are the parties going to address people in my situation?
The Lib Dems were not the only party to oppose the war. Respect opposed it consistently. And we know that Charlie and co can't even turn up to vote to defeat a sitting government, as happened with the terror bill. If those seventeen MPs have a good excuse, it's time we heard it.
Mike Morris, Oxford
The Liberal Democrats are the only party who are honest enough to say if you want to have decent services then we have to pay for them. The other two parties seem to fudge their figures to bamboozle the public to get them to vote for them. I have always been a Conservative voter but this time I am so disillusioned with the other parties that I will be voting Liberal Democrat.
Frank Hewett-Smith, Blindcrake
It is good to see at least one party putting forward a sensible immigration policy and recognising the need to welcome people who seek refuge in this country.
The proof of any pudding is in the eating. I can say from personal experience as an OAP and 24/7 carer that the Lib Dems treat pensioners and carers as rubbish! If anyone expects the Lib Dems to keep their promises then forget it.
Allan Ledwith, Colchester, Essex
I notice that there is no mention of giving prisoners the vote. Some of those in prison are there for raping elderly women, abusing children, murder and the like. Do you really want a government that allows these scum to have a vote? Why did the Lib Dems hide that from the manifesto?
Alan Dobbie, London
The Tories and Labour are now too close in policy. I agree with Charles Kennedy that the Lib Dems are the only real alternative and they will be getting my vote this time. It's a shame that people think it will be a wasted vote.
Chris Able, Sandwich
Finally! A common sense manifesto from people who are honest about tax but more importantly have issues on the environment - why does no one apart from the Greens and them take this seriously?
Peter Ruddick, Chichester
At last, some sense on the mandatory life sentence for murder. Some murders are far more reprehensible than others, so the punishment should not always be the same. If I was on a jury and I knew that the person was technically guilty but morally justified in their actions, I would be far more likely to acquit than convict if I knew that the sentence would be life anyway.
John Welford, Leics
They haven't abolished tuition fees in Scotland. Students will have to pay for them after graduation. They voted to keep the council tax in a vote in Scottish Parliament, not scrap it like they say. That's dishonest. If anyone wants to know what they are like then they should look at Scotland. There is rising unemployment, rising youth crime and rising waiting lists.
J McKay, Glasgow, Scotland
Concern for the environment runs throughout the entire manifesto. On every page there is a Green Action box showing that the Lib Dems are the only mainstream party to prioritise the environment. What a pity the media have ignored this, and ignored the environment again. The environment is important to us all - whatever your voting preference.
Rebecca Lush, Totnes, Devon
The Liberal Democrats are clearly the party with the most realistic views. It's not right to have a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Charles Kennedy offers a realistic alternative to the similar views of Labour/Tories. It annoys me to hear everyone talking about the Lib Dems as a 'wasted vote' when they offer the most sensible policies and would form the best government. Much as I believe in their policies it's saddening to think that they may yet again be cheated out of becoming government, or at least the opposition, because of the negative attitude of voters that only Labour or Conservative can fill those roles. If everyone who believed in the Lib Dems voted for them, we would see them winning the election.
Jonathon Abel, Arbroath, Scotland
The Lib Dems manifesto is much in line with what most sane people have been saying for some time. At least they are listening to the people. Let us hope they will deliver what they have promised when elected.
Ron Manuel, Dursley, Glos.
The idea of a 50% higher tax is not unattractive to those of us earning below £100,000. An additional local "earnings related" tax is not so attractive, and must surely be open to abuse as the current earnings related taxes are. The ability of some (particularly those on higher incomes) to mask actual revenue brings this method into disrepute. Or are we advocating means testing?
Stephen, Clevedon, N Somerset
At last, a party with a manifesto which is not for the "me, now" voters. They will get my vote.
Nick, Chelmsford Essex
The change from council tax to local income tax will mean that second home owners will escape taxation on any second or more properties and there will be a switch to cheaper areas for local registration. For example, in effect, Bognor might become a little Monaco tax haven for the super-rich, if that Council were so minded.
Tony McLachlan, London
I read the manifesto and in particular the part about Nuclear disarmament. I thought the Lib Dems were a real political party for Britain. It now appears they would prefer to govern la-la land. To talk of removing all nuclear weapons is nonsense. We may not like them, but nuclear weapons, and the knowledge to build more, exists. We will never get rid of nuclear arms and anyone with a smidgeon of intelligence should be able to see this. Lib Dems policies not adding up, again.
The last two times I voted Labour. This time it will be voting Lib Dem. They lack the slick, highly polished presentation of the other two but are genuine with their policies. If they come to power they will alter life positively in the UK.
Rachel Edmonds, Milton Keynes
I utterly agree with the Lib Dems, increasing tax to people who earn over £100,000 a year by 10 pence will not impoverish an already very wealthy set of people, but will help those who need it like pensioners, and will allow improvements in the NHS. Furthermore, the only party that realises that the EU is for us, agree or disagree with it, we will remain a member of the EU and thus we should be involved.
Why are so many people blinkered by the two main parties? There are many other parties. Look at the manifestoes and decide.
Tony Moody, Plymouth UK
I would like to point out that when the Lib Dems say that they have abolished tuition fees in Scotland, what they really did was just scrap upfront fees; you still have to pay the fee in a "graduate tax" after university. They now say that they will abolish the fees in England; does this mean that they will abolish all payment or only upfront fees? Also seeing as there will be no upfront fees in England from next year what are the Lib Dems really going to do? I personally think that this is just sheer opportunism from them.
Daniel Cross, Edinburgh, Scotland
Local income tax based on ability to pay - what a joke. Hard working families with mortgages could find their payments will double whilst the idle rich living off tax exempt investments will pay nothing. It's worse than the poll tax.
Mark, Liverpool, UK
You need to add another field for adding comments to these debates. It should be salary. Bottom line is, people vote for the party that will make them financially better off. People who work in the public sector will vote for higher tax parties, as they will put more money in public services and public sector pay will increase. Others will vote for low tax parties as that will make them better off. For myself - I work in the private sector and am a high earner, so I'm looking for the low tax party.
Paul Johnson, Seoul, South Korea
Providing free dental care for all and, more importantly, ensuring there are NHS dentists available is a very positive step.
The fact they are going to get rid of council tax to make way for a fairer tax has won my vote. I found myself a single parent of two teenagers and work a part time job around my children. I'm doing my best but council tax is killing me. Because I own my own home and cant get any other reduction other than single persons rebate, I would technically be better off if I sold my house and went into a council house, that way I would get housing benefit or I could just not work at all and I wouldn't have to pay it! My house may be worth a few quid but it doesn't feed my children or pay my bills and I am paying for it with my mortgage.
What a wonderful world it would be if we could live in the land of the Lib Dems. Imagine, everything would be free, none of that inconvenient paying for services, and if you committed murder you would no longer get a mandatory life sentence, whilst drug dealers would be free to buy and sell what they wanted. These are all real proposals in this manifesto, so I would suggest that law abiding, tax paying voters avoid this party at the next election and vote for one that is at least trying to be realistic.
Chris Taylor, Cornwall
The Lib Dem manifesto seems at odds with many resolutions passed at Lib Dem conferences. My question is this: is the manifesto being honest with us, the electorate, and dishonest towards its party members who apparently voted for many policies not in the manifesto - or is it the other way round? I think we should know.
People are talking a lot of hog wash about the proposal for local income tax. They are making comparisons with the current levels of Council Tax forgetting that a revaluation is under way which will greatly increase the amounts of the tax we will have to pay
It just seems highly unrealistic and would put a serious dampener on the economy. I also struggle to get why people seem to fall for the "we're the only positive ones" when from what I can see they snipe more than the others. What arrogance.
Edward, Philadelphia, USA
Being leader of the Lib Dems must be one of the best jobs going. Big salary, invites to all the major events such as royal weddings etc. but as they have absolutely zero chance of ever being elected, their manifesto will never be put to the test. The result is that they don't get roughed up by the likes of John Humphries and Newsnight and yet they get the same airtime for their pie in the sky policies as the other two parties. Does anybody actually read their manifesto?
Some misinformation is being put out on local income tax and the extra 10% on income tax. The proposed local income tax threshold will be £100,000, so there is no double whammy. The change is a small price to pay for a genuinely fairer system and a return to no tuition fees or top-up fees, free personal care for the elderly and free eye and dental checks. The system is also less bureaucratic, as it piggybacks the system used for national income tax. Finally, while a quarter of households will pay more under the local tax, half will be better off. The Institute of Fiscal Studies have confirmed this. It's called progressive politics!
Martin Pantling, Luton
Having gone to university I expect to earn more over my working life and so pay more tax. I wouldn't mind so much if I could see real improvements in the UK infrastructure (education and public transport primarily) and I didn't have to pay for my university education (which strikes me as paying twice!). This is what I hope voting Lib Dem will achieve.
The Lib Dems, like other parties, wish to use house value as a taxation agent. Yet if you suddenly find yourself with a house that others consider as having a certain value - regardless whether or not you can sell immediately for that or not, you may end up not being able to live in that house any longer. This is extortion. Perhaps the government would offer to buy the house at taxation value?
Anyone who says "It's all irrelevant because the Lib Dems will never get in" is entirely missing the point. A hung parliament is looking extremely possible this time around and so there is a real chance that the Lib Dems will be in a position to implement lots of their policies.
John West, Cambridge
I personally don't trust Labour or the Tories because they feed us lies and give us worse. If there's any one decent here they'd vote for Lib Dems because I think they've got a chance and will never make a stupid mistake like going into war with Iraq.!
I would like to know why yet again it is suggested that the hard working majority should pay more in income tax so that the lazy unemployed people don't have to pay council tax. Who is this fair on?
The Liberal Democrats are far from honest and their policies are a joke. As well as wanting a 50% band of tax (which will simply drive high earners to other countries), the proposed local income tax will cost the average worker considerably more. I pay £1200 per year council tax for a standard 3-bed semi and that is daylight robbery for the pathetic services I receive. The tax calculator suggests I would pay around £2200 under the Lib Dems. Good enough reason to emigrate if it weren't for the certain knowledge that the Liberal Democrats will never be in a position to implement their ludicrous scheme.
A local income tax, the abolition of tuition fees, and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq are all ideas worthy of popular support. Many of us are heartily sick of the relentless and frighteningly right wing opportunism of Blair and Howard. Give the Lib Dems a chance.
Richard Turner, Wembley
Lib Dems are the new credible opposition - Labour will win this election because they are a good government, however Lib Dems have shown they can be the opposition, Tories - goodbye for many more years.
John Williamson, Coventry
You would have thought Charles Kennedy would know that Statutory Maternity Pay has increased from £102.80 to £106.00 as from 3rd April 2005. Perhaps, he can explain to the rest of us why his party manifesto clearly states that is presently £102.80. This is the party that clearly has trust as one of its principles.
John A, London
Look at these comments. The only argument against the Lib Dems is that they will cost 'me' more. The rich the selfish and the stupid have won every election since 1979. It's time for the enlightened majority to have a turn. And as others have said, now is the time to vote Lib Dem, get Lib Dem.
Richard Hall, Reading, UK
Charles Kennedy is a bag of wind airy fairy ideas that will never be implemented because his party will not get in. He is best staying at home with the baby.
Pat Webb, Newcastle-under-Lyme
It's not all about tax increases. Tuition and top up fees amount to a tax on ambition, and it's only the Lib Dems who are making a principled stand against them.
I am totally opposed to a local income tax. This is just another exampled of penalising people who actually work for a living.
Marilyn Drawwater, Surbiton, England
The Liberal Democrats' tax plans are naive. If you tax incomes more then it encourages people to work in the black, then the government would have even less money to spend.
Huw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Local income tax may not be perfect but it is much more fair than Council Tax which has been used by both of the other parties as back door taxation. When it comes to "Trust" at least the Lib Dems have a clearer and more honest approach to fair taxation and say where the money for good services will come from.
Greg King, Street, Somerset
The Lib Dems policies are fluffy but naive. Labour has proven time and again that higher taxes on the wealthy don't work. The really wealthy haven't paid tax in the UK since Labour came to power. This will simply make it even more viable for the rest of us to leave. Then who pays the wages?
The Lib Dems differ from the other two parties in that they are not prepared to jump on every tabloid press bandwagon that comes along. Whether you like their manifesto or not, they appear more likely to abide by their principles than the other two parties. A vote for the Lib Dems is a vote ....... for the Lib Dems.
Jon, Newcastle upon Tyne
I would vote Lib Dem this time, because I couldn't vote Tory without my hand falling off and I couldn't vote for Tony Blair after Iraq without feeling ashamed of myself.
David Seaton, Madrid, Spain
More opportunistic policies from the Lib Dems, I see. Why can't they leave out the rhetoric and tell us what they're actually going to do with the money earned from their local income tax?
Chris Blore, Billericay, UK
If, like many here, you have the intelligence to understand the difference between cost and value, the Lib Dem proposition is a compelling one.
Greg, London, UK
The Tories and Labour have both released manifestos so similar that they might as well be the same document! The Lib Dems have actually come up with original proposals. I may not agree with all of it, but I agree with enough. I will vote Lib Dem. And if enough people like me make that choice, ANY party can win this election - so stop counting them out, and start thinking about what's on offer.
Why are people so obsessed with tax? Let's talk about human lives here. At the moment the LDs are the only party for people who are genuinely concerned about the following: a possible invasion of Iran in the next term, the Bush agenda of unilateralism, the environment, human rights, poverty and the UN. Let us not forget Iraq. The LDs get my vote.
Charles Kennedy is a good honest man, there is no doubt about that. Unfortunately, the Lib Dem policies on the EU and tax will totally bury the UK. Entrepreneurs and investors will choose to live elsewhere due to the high taxation, France and Germany will drown us in their European autocracy and this country will become an economic wasteland. Sorry Charles, but the only credible alternative to this failed government rests with Michael Howard.
Jim Meaden, Bere Regis, Dorset
Finally a party that has an eye on sensible socialism! If this is truly a democratic election, there is no good reason why the Lib Dems shouldn't win. Intelligent voters should be seriously considering what the Lib Dems are offering. Let's face it, Labour and the Tories aren't exactly offering us a rosy future. And don't forget who the only anti-war party are!
Chris, Hartlepool, UK
There's nothing weak on crime in this manifesto, just a generally enlightened view about justice. Prisons don't work!
Ian Miller, Oxford, UK
The country's best chance for good government is a hung parliament and a coalition government. As in Scotland the Lib Dems and Labour backbenchers will hold the government to account. Every vote for the Lib Dems is a vote towards a hung parliament and democratic government.
I'm a first-time voter. All my friends and I are voting Lib Dem as they are principled. The sheer arrogance of Howard and Blair, whom I have met, is astounding. Both of them have stood by and encouraged habeas corpus to be reneged upon. They have attacked our country.
It is a refreshing change to read a manifesto that makes sense and addresses key issues with a mature and intelligent approach. For those who say that a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote, I ask them what the alternative would be. Four more years of a Labour government shifting ever more to the right? Or a Conservative government under Michael Howard, being forced even further to the right by Labour policies? We are running the danger of turning British politics into American politics. The Lib Dems offer the only remotely left-wing alternative, and for that they have my vote.
Sean Gibson, Vienna, Austria
This motley ensemble of disaffected Tories and Labourites and odd balls never fails to deliver with its fringe party manifesto of loopy policies. They set out to attract the vote of the protester and the fuzzy-minded. Maggie was right - the parrot is dead!
Scott H, Cheshunt
I was a Labour supporter until Mr Blair sent British troops to Iraq. The Conservatives are shooting themselves in the foot over immigration. There is only one option for me, Liberal Democrats.
Chris, Plymouth, UK
Many people here are concerned about how much tax they will be paying after the elections. But surely we all earn money so that we can live in a nicer environment, allowing us to live a more pleasant lifestyle? If the Liberal Democrats were to create that environment across the country, I would not mind living on a pittance. People need to start thinking about their priorities, not about how much money they are putting aside for that rainy day.
The Lib Dems seem to have some very good, popular, policies. But, as they want to hand over more and more power to Europe, they will only be able to implement them if the Brussels Eurocrats let them.
Lib Dem is the right choice. Let's fix the mess that Labour has made of this country and get Lib Dem into power. Wake up people, we've been part of the European Community since we signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957. We can either embrace the opportunities that it offers or we can keep our eyes and minds firmly closed.
Rich, Woking, Surrey
My family would pay double the amount in Council tax we pay now under their local income tax idea and we are in no way "rich".
My daughter is a nurse and she shares a small house with two others and they would also see their bill soar to nearly three times as much.
This is just a naked pitch for pensioners' votes, but they need to remember that pensioners have children and grandchildren and don't always vote just in their own interests, but that of their wider family.
I live with my wife and two young daughters in a modest 3 bed semi and pay £1000 per annum in Council Tax. Our average income is £20k. My brother (who works) and my mother (retired) live in an average 3 bed semi. Their average income is £20k pa. They pay £100 in Council Tax. Two votes for the Lib Dems, then.
Paul Reid, Stockport
I'm only 17 but I feel that the Lib Dems would be the best thing that ever happened to Britain.
Simon MacDonald, Hemel Hempstead
Victoria from Shrewsbury - what a strange idea that supporting pensioners is a bad thing. Do you think they have 'not worked' all their lives just to be supported by you? What about all the taxes they paid so that schools and hospitals could be run long before you were earning? I'll be voting Lib Dem, although It's a close call because my constituency is a marginal one and I'd rather cut my hand off than see the Tory candidate get in.
I was born shortly after Mrs. Thatcher came to power, and in my 24 years have seen very little change in how the country is run. It would be such a breath of fresh air to not only see new faces in office, but to see some new ideas as well. I for one think the new local income tax, along with some of the other liberal ideas would be a welcome relief, and if it does not work, we can change it back again in five years!
Blair ought to be punished for Iraq. The Conservatives are irresponsible and populist. As far as the Lib Dems pro-European stance is concerned, why are people happy to be ruled by Labour's corrupt bureaucracy but worry about Brussels?
Local income tax sounds good but it would rise with council spending taking an ever bigger slice directly from your pay - Income Tax - National Insurance & Local Income Tax could quickly add up to 50% of most peoples income within a few years.
Paul Vella, London
The Lib Dems want us to adopt the Euro, sign the EU constitution, allow Europe to dictate our immigration policy, increase taxes, not put criminals in prison and limit freedom of speech. Yet, when all this is said through the careful lips of Mr Kennedy, the Lib Dems appear to be such a moderate party!
Henry Kingsley, Cardiff, UK
When you tell people you won't vote they say "but people died so you could vote", when you tell them you intend to vote Lib Dem they say "that's a wasted vote". So why did people lay down their lives against the Nazis? So we could elect 1 of 2 wings of the same party? We should remember that if we are ever asked to make a similar sacrifice.
Peter Tarlan, Manchester
I don't agree with everything that Charlie Kennedy says, but isn't it refreshing to hear a party leader actually trying to answer the interviewer's questions rather than delivering a predetermined script?
Andrew Tracey, Windsor
I believe the Local Income tax is much fairer than the council tax. The more you earn the more you pay. Seems so obviously simple to me, so why are people complaining about it? Another point is that the local income tax will be more efficient to collect because the inland revenue will sort it out at the same time as national income tax.
Michael Daly, Leeds
Why would they cancel the Child Trust Fund. I personally thought that was a good idea. It's only just been introduced and all the infrastructure investment will be wasted. Of course it only benefits children who won't be voters for another 16-18 years. Maybe that's why. Very short termist.
Ian, Kent, UK
I had decided to vote for Lib Dem this time: this decision has just reversed! My local tax will mean I end up paying about £250 more per year.
Sara Langton, Hampshire
50% tax, income based council tax, so a moderately well off single person with no children will get screwed yet a sponger with 5 kids will benefit. Sounds like Labour to me! "Real Alternative" don't make me laugh, UKIP have a better chance!
Paul Miller, Stafford, UK
It's about time that we had a party which is honest in what it says. I'm sick of the Tories and Labour party promising to cut tax but increase public spending. This election will see the Lib Dems become the real alternative to Labour and hopefully the death of the outdated Tory party who have no principles, convictions or philosophy any more.
David Wibberley, Southampton
I think the 50% tax on incomes over £100,000 is absolutely fair, and right - and I'd be one of the people paying it.
Suzanne Gill, London, UK
The Lib Dems tax proposals are not only far more honest and equitable than the current Government's policy of regressive, stealth taxing, but they would leave all of us better of in a larger sense. If a 50% tax was levied on incomes over £100,000 the government could help pay for decent healthcare, proper educational standards and an efficient transport system. This would not only save the better off money on private healthcare and education, but all of us money on transport costs. Those who look at their proposals and think 'that won't work for me - I might have to pay a bit more' are being short-sighted about their own well-being, not to mention that of society as a whole.
Given the choice between a party that gives me reliable information about where my earnings are going to go, and a party that looks set to stealth tax us even more than we are already, it's not that tough a choice!
Simon, Southampton, UK
I would vote for Labour if they had not started a pointless undemocratic war, or if they of Mr. Blair and replaced him with Brown. However as the war took place and the second is unlikely to happen, I will be voting for the Lib Dems. I agree with their policies on social justice and pulling our troops out of Iraq at the end of the year. I also agree with increased EU integration and believe that you get what you pay for in this world so to get better services, you need to pay for them. This is something most other countries understand so why not Britain?
Michael, Glasgow UK
I will be voting Liberal Democrat even though I have reservations about some of their policies and could well be worse off under their tax plans. They are the only party being sensible and honest with the electorate. I am absolutely incensed by all the comments I have read about a vote for a Lib Dem being a wasted vote because they won't get in. By the same logic no-one should vote for any candidate against an MP with a large majority in their constituency. Your vote is your chance to state your political allegiance - use it!
The Lib Dems have long been seen as the third party and may well stay there for a long time to come if they do not face up to certain realities. They have some sound policies in terms of fair taxation, pensions and health. Their education and immigration policies are commendable. The focus on home issues would certainly encourage me to vote for them. The major factor is foreign policy and a leader who looks like he can lead. Whether we like it or not Britain's strategic partnership with the US is vital. Whereas France and Germany can voice displeasure at the recent wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, we have to stand with the US because of the economic and political benefits on the world stage. Like it or not we are in this for better or worse for the foreseeable future. Charles Kennedy seems a likeable chap but that is as far as it goes. Politics is as much based on image as well as policy. The Lib Dems come across as wishy washy and a bit soft. Until Charles can emanate the same resounding charisma as the other Kennedy who led a Democrat party, or they find a leader who will whip them into shape and toughen them up on the ugly realities in the real world, they will never govern Britain.
Sterling Burke, Birmingham
Surely the people earning over £100K can afford an accountant to find a way to avoid paying the extra 50% tax, if not the original 40%.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party to have sensible, refreshing policies. People should have courage and vote for them, especially in marginal seats.
Sandy Bradbrook, Birmingham, UK
What a wonderfully refreshing change to hear politicians talking some sense. Isn't it blindingly obvious that a local income tax would be so much fairer and easier to administer than council tax? If everyone who was planning not to vote because Labour and Tories are as bad as each other went out and voted Lib Dem, we might even get to see some of these policies in action.
Adam, London, UK
By positioning themselves to the left of Labour, they may gain many votes from more left-wing Labour supporters. However they will also lose the Tory vote.
Matthew Freedman, London, UK
Some good ideas, some reactionary bad ones; often not thought through, these pledges are surely the product of a confused party.
Danny, Mildenhall, Suffolk
What's all this nonsense about the Lib Dems being honest and trustworthy? Of all the main parties, they try the hardest to disguise what they really stand for. Their current manifesto has been carefully designed to appear moderate on many issues. If they can't even be honest about what they stand for, how can we believe anything they say? If people actually bothered to research what the Lib Dems actually stand for, most would be very hesitant to give them their vote.
Morgan, Winchester, UK
The Lib Dem manifesto highlights the case that they are clearly not a party suited for government. The only sensible option is the Tories, who propose sensible policies and strong leadership. Kennedy is a court jester, whose greatest joke is suggesting that the Lib Dems are a feasible government!
It was interesting to see that with an almost equal exposure of Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem on my blog that it should be the Lib-Dems that popped up as a Google advert. Someone is obviously switched on about the webbysphere. Unfortunately, though, this doesn't get matched by their online manifesto. Instead of a regular PDF which most anyone that would be interested in an online manifesto could use easily, they've got their own page display engine. But it is truly awful. Apart from being grindingly slow the site is built without regard to accessibility at all, you can't resize the text, for instance, making it impossible for those with over 40 sight to read it without moving back and forth like a slightly dazed adder. They've broken all of the useability rules by displaying the pages as images so even those that would like to quote from it can't copy text from the online version. Instead we have to download the utilitarian text version. Perhaps someone at the Lib Dems thinks that's greener than using PDFs.
Simon Lucy, Stourport on Severn
Under the Lib Dems I'll pay slightly more on my local taxes. But the 50% tax rate on incomes over £100,000 doesn't affect me yet (I hope it will in a few years time!). At the same time I know my grandparents will pay less, and my friends on lower incomes will pay less. My grandparents will also get free personal care which they currently have to pay for (a tax on being old), and my brother and sister will be freed from the burden of tuition fees (a tax on learning). I'm happy with that. And at least they're telling the truth on tax - this government and the last Tory one both introduced loads of stealth taxes. The Lib Dems get my vote. And where I live it certainly won't be a wasted vote.
What a load of rubbish, but Kennedy seems like a nice person.
I and my wife work hard and are still paying off our Uni debts. We have a sizable mortgage and cannot, as yet, afford to have any kids. If the Lib Dems got in, our council tax would increase dramatically. I cannot see how this is fair. We use few public services beyond the necessary and yet we will be forced to pay more than ever before.
Richard, Chelmsford, UK
I would be worse off under the Lib Dems, but they've got my vote. For some time it is they, and not the Tories, who have been asking the telling questions of Mr Blair, mostly notably over Iraq. In so many constituencies they have a fantastic opportunity to overturn the sitting MP, if only people would vote for the party they really want, rather than second best.
Andy Bentley, Swindon, UK
I was thinking about voting Lib Dem but now looking at their policies on tax and local income tax they will not get my vote. Now I don't know who to vote for.
Jon C, Lower Stondon, England
I agree with Charles Kennedy that the Lib Dems are the only real opposition. They have responded to public opinion on many issues, for example the war with Iraq and tuition fees. I know so many people who support their policies but won't for them because they see it as a vote wasted! Labour and the Tories have had so many opportunities over the last century. Maybe it's time to give the real alternative a chance.
There are a few comments here complaining that Lib Dems would make their tax bill go up or even "taxes are too high". How do you define "too high"? At the end of the day anything we want a government to do has to be paid for. If you don't want high tax, the choice is clear: vote for a party that promises low levels of public services, and don't complain when the inevitable cuts are made! Labour have dug themselves into a hole by promising no increase in basic rate of income tax, leaving themselves wide open to the stealth tax charge. The Lib Dem manifesto is a welcome breath of fresh air amid the spin.
Clive, London, UK
Do they honestly think that 50% tax on higher earners and local income tax will win votes? Come on Charles Kennedy why should decent hardworking people continually have to pay more to subsidise others? No chance of winning anyway, thank goodness.
Tracey, Berks, UK
Lots of people here are saying that their local income tax bill would be much higher than their current council tax bill. How are people calculating this? I haven't seen any mention of the specific rates for local income tax. If someone could tell me how they are working out that they will end up paying more, perhaps I could see whether I would be better or worse off too.
I did not vote for a multi-cultural society. If an immigrant wishes to come and live in my country then they should abide by our culture values and not attempt to impose theirs on us. Mr. Kennedy means and says all things to all men. It really does depend on his audience at that particular time.
Dave Lowrie, Glasgow
The Lib Dems say they care about the environment, so why did they campaign against the introduction of a congestion charge in Edinburgh? They say they will be tough on crime yet they oppose mandatory life sentences for murderers! The Lib Dems are all lies. Charles Kennedy says that he will not go into a coalition with Labour or the Tories, yet all over the country at a local level the Lib Dems are in coalitions with both the Tories and Labour. It would be a disaster for the UK if the Lib Dems came anywhere near number 10.
The Lib Dems offer straight talking politics rather than spin and constant bickering. They have polices that answer genuine concerns of the general public.
Joe Kendrick, London
I can think of one good reason to vote Lib Dem: they're not the Conservatives or Labour. After decades of corruption and nepotism we need a change.
R Evans, Cardiff, Wales
Let's be honest, they're not going to win. But wouldn't it be nice if they unseated Michael Howard. Come on Folkestone voters, politics can be fun, put the Lib Dems in to bat.
Tony Morgan, Manchester
The Lib Dems want more of my cash to spend on those who have less. That's it? They've got my vote.
With their policies on drugs, opposition to mandatory life sentences for killers, their belief that burglars shouldn't be sent to prison, and belief prison doesn't work; the Lib Dems would cause nothing more than an explosion in crime.
Jack Stone, Southend
The Lib Dems are the political equivalent of a 70s revival. High tax, high spending, tolerant of criminal behaviour. They get an easy time because they lack credibility. We would be far less tolerant if we had to face the recession and higher unemployment their policies would inevitably bring.
I've got news for the Lib Dems: people earning over £100K a year already pay more tax than lower earners because income tax is based on a percentage of income. You do the maths.
Matt F, Bristol
The Lib Dems have had my vote at the last two elections, but not this time. I tried their local income tax calculator and was shocked by how much worse off my family would be. How can they claim that council tax bills are too high and then plan to substantially increase these for one in four of the population?
Isn't it predictable that most detractors are only concerned with tax implications rather than social benefits that would affect us all? This type of self-interested attitude is self-defeating. The Lib Dems may have little chance of power but their policies are honest and socially commendable.
Jeff Meek, Glasgow
The Lib Dems seem like the only genuinely honest major party in the country. The Tories seem to be without inspiration, whilst Labour tread deeper into the murky waters of heavy-handed oppression. The Lib Dems aren't perfect, but their policies are good, fair and honest.
Paul Chapman, London
At least the Lib Dems plan to get our troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Gets my vote.
Local income taxes only benefit two sorts of people: those who earn very little (and therefore require subsidy by the rest of us) and those who can work cash in hand. It sork cash in hand. It seems like a gift to dodgy mechanics and plumbers rather than the fair tax that's being described.
Lib Dem policies are so far to the left of the Labour party, they should be seen as socialist. I find it amazing that this isn't being highlighted in the media. If Labour had proposed these policies they would have been ripped to pieces. I guess it doesn't happen to the Lib Dems because they aren't seen as a threat.
Andy James, Maidstone
The Lib Dems wish to abolish mandatory sentences for murderers and rapists. That alone should be a reason to avoid them like the plague.
Their policy on decriminalising the possession of drugs for personal use is a step in the wrong direction. They should be automatically sentenced to four weeks in a secure unit designed to rehabilitate. If you get rid of users you get rid of dealers.
I like the Lib Dems approach. They seem genuine, do well to avoid negative campaigning and have overtaken Labour as the party for people with a social conscience. But I can't help thinking that a vote for them is a Tory vote by the back door. Personally I will always vote Labour if there is any chance at all that the Tories might win.
These are a refreshing set of ideas compared to the Tory's negative list of complaints. The manifesto shows they are a more real alternative to Labour than the Tories.
Rob Beadle, Croydon, Surrey
Unfortunately for Charles Kennedy and his party annual income cannot be correlated with ability to pay. The policy is unworkable as it seems to take no account of an individual's outgoings. In the unlikely event of the Lib Dems winning, expect to see riots similar to those after the Tories introduced the Poll Tax.
I am disappointed to see nothing about science, or investing in universities and scientific research. Without new investment, how will we work out how to deal with the increasing threats to our environment and health or develop new technologies to allow UK industry to be competitive?
Sean Munro, Cambridge
Retaining the council tax is all wrong. Imagine two neighbours in identical houses. One with a £150,000 higher earner having bought the house outright with no mortgage - while the other is on a 'normal' salary working hard to pay the mortgage and paying the same council charge as his rich neighbour. How is that fair? Taxes should be largely based on the ability to pay, and as a rule, there is no better method than judging it by income. We need the Lib Dems as a breath of fresh air.
Alan Marson, Birmingham
I think the Lib Dems' manifesto has much to recommend it. They are by far the most radical of the main parties and we could do with a bit of that.
Stuart Ackland, Milton Keynes
Labour raise taxes, Lib Dems raise taxes. Labour wants more rights for criminals and the chronically lazy, Lib Dems want rights for criminals and the chronically lazy. Labour hope to promote a woolly liberal agenda, Lib Dems hope to promote a woolly liberal agenda. How on earth are they the "real alternative"?
I think it's very sad that most of this discussion is focused on money, with the emphasis on those that have it and are desperate to keep it. When we are looking for a group of people to lead us, is that all we really care about? Further, it is sad that people think a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote. The more votes they get, the more the governing party will have to make concessions to their manifesto in order to maintain their own success. Look alive people!
As a middle income earner, I'm happy for the top rate of tax to go up, but I object to the local income tax. This will inevitably be higher than council tax for anyone in work, as they will have to subsidise those who pay nothing. The council tax is already based on property values - if someone can't afford to pay, they should move to a smaller house, or to a cheaper area.
Harry Lee, London
Doubtless those who are in favour of a local income tax are, as usual, those who expect other supposedly rich tax payers to subsidise them. What is completely beyond their, and Charles Kennedy's, comprehension is that the middle classes do not have a money tree that spouts £50 notes every second. I couldn't even get an urgent heart operation on the NHS - I guess the only reason for me to live is to pay ever increasing amounts of tax so that non-taxpayers can benefit.
Martin Scrivens, Croydon, Surrey
Even though I will be caught out by the local income tax plans, I am still persuaded by this manifesto to vote Lib Dem. Their policies are fair and their foreign policy in particular clinches my vote.
Andrew Wordsworth, March
I will be paying more in local income tax than council tax but still morally I should support Liberal Democrats since they are after a fairer system.
Vikas Agrawal, Hounslow
I'm in agreement with the Lib Dems; they are the only main party to offer effective opposition to the government. I would be slightly worse off under their tax regime but my belief is that taxes need to go up in the long term because of the ageing population. The other major parties are ignoring this fact.
Nick Waymark, Leigh-on-Sea
I'm impressed. They are the only party to specifically mention equal rights and protection for gay people. Plus of course they were against the war in Iraq.
Victoria Manning, London
The Liberal Democrats think they can fool people on taxes and get their votes. Lib Dem policies on immigration, crime and drugs are the worst in whole of Europe. Voting for them is a sure ticket to chaos, anarchy and destruction.
Anthony Kumar, Bristol
My issue is tuition fees. I really believe that if you can afford to pay them, you should. What's wrong wiou should. What's wrong with a sliding scale?
Stripped by Conservatives and suffocated by Labour - do we really want more of same? When reading the Lib Dem manifesto, I found myself nodding in the same way you do when someone is talking sense.
Mark Nicholls, London
I will not be voting Lib Dem. The reason is simple - I'm not prepared to pay a 40% hike in tax when a local income tax is introduced.
The Lib Dem manifesto on crime is awful. Abolishing mandatory life sentences for murder and rape, and rewarding criminals by sending joyriders on go-karting trips? This sounds like a party that is totally out of touch with reality and soft on crime.
Thankfully Lib Dems have no chance of forming the next government. Their proposed local tax would more than double my council tax when services are getting worse. It even makes poll tax look attractive!
Jason, Coulsdon, Surrey
Of course the Lib Dems will never get into power if we moan and vote for someone else. Vote for who you want, not who you think will win. Isn't that what democracy is about?
Jennifer Smith, Hythe, Kent
Please don't misjudge their chance of winning the election by how many seats they have in Parliament. They're just about the only honest party around with a manifesto that truly speaks to the masses, and if people actually voted for them rather than hesitating by their winning chances, then they really do have a chance of running the country.
Kylie Wilson, South Wales
I used to vote for them for many years but now don't. They have moved to the left of the Labour party but still pretend they are right of centre in Tory-held target seats. Not as honest as they claim to be.
As a mature student (training to teach) I support the abolition of the current council tax and university fees
R. Wright, London
What does Charles Kennedy mean, "women will have full pension based on residence"? I have paid full NI all my working life (in excess of 30 years). Does this mean if I retire abroad I don't receive a state pension?
Bobbie Avons, Christian Malford, Wiltshire
The Lib Dems are caught in a classic Catch 22 situation. There are literally millions of voters out there who say to themselves "I would vote Lib Dem but they have no chance of power so I'll vote Labour or Conservative instead" If those voters collectively had the courage to vote according to their inclination, the political landscape of Britain would change overnight. Just another spin off effect from FPTP - the most undemocratic voting system ever devised!
Peter Davidson, Alderley Edge
For all those that say that a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote - remember that you are voting locally and not nationally. In Michael Howard's constituency tl Howard's constituency the Lib Dems are second and Labour have no chance, so it would actually be a vote for Labour that would be wasted.
Neil, London, UK
People who say a vote for Lib Dems is a wasted vote are talking rubbish. Don't be put off by them. They are probably Tory or Labour supporters just trying to railroad everyone in having a two party system which in my view undermines democracy.
How on earth are they going to pay for all of these treats? Taxing the richest in society will lead to a 'brain drain' and businesses moving abroad. I shall be voting Tory in my Lib Dem/Tory marginal to Lib Dem/Tory marginal to ensure this dog's breakfast is never implemented.
Jon Harrison, Frome, England
There doesn't seem to that much difference between the three main parties. They are all catering for those with kids and the elderly to give them credits and benefits. I don't come under either category and neither to a lot of people I know. Why should we pay for them to have their credits and benefits? Unless one of the parties addresses this, I probably won't bother voting at all.
J Hodgson, Swindon, Wiltshire
Can the Lib Dems please tell me the correlation between the wages I earn in London and the cost of services in Milton Keynes? Can the other parties please explain why council tax rises should go up in line with property inflation? Will taxes come down in the event of a property slump?
Darren O'Leary, Milton Keynes, UK
So much of the Lib Dems' manifesto rings true. While their chances of getting into power are not strong, an increased number of MPs, especially in disillusioned Labour/Tory seat, can only improve the country. I think they have my vote.
Kevinjohn Gallagher, Islington, London
I don't think there's anything here that will dissuade me from voting for them. It's time we had a break from Labour and the Tories.
Dave Godfrey, Swindon, UK
The council tax is blatantly unfair at present, it penalises those on a low income who cannot afford it, and may charge them more merely on the basis of the size of house they live in. Further, anyone sharing a house can be forced to pay the council tax of a house sharer who does not pay their share. Local income tax would be one way but a better council tax benefit system would work just as well.
Tim Regester, Sudbury, Suffolk
I agree with everything the Lib Dems do. Although this new council tax policy will hit me hard personally, it is fairer that pensioners don't have to pay. I just wish that I, as a graduate who now works long hours with no children, would stop getting penalised for achieving! I would like to be able to keep some of my money that I have worked hard for instead of handing it out to those who can't be bothered to work (I don't mind sharing with those who can't)!
I was already planning on voting Lib Dem, as they seem far more thoughtful than any other party. I'm particularly pleased to see they have given careful thought to how they'd pay for universities after scrapping top-up fees. I'm very impressed.
Their manifesto gives food for thought. They were also the only party to oppose the war from the outset. Labour has lost my vote and I will now give it to the Lib Dems.
I've read all of the views on here before I write this. Whoever you vote for will cost you money. It makes no difference what party they're from. I'll be voting Lib Dem simply because they're honest and they listen. Something the other parties don't do. Less means testing and bureaucracy might just mean that we end up better off. I think it's time for a refreshing change.
Nick Howard, Loftus, Cleveland
Many of the promises made by the Lib Dems are based on real achievements already delivered in Scotland. On the basis of past records and future plans the Lib Dems get my vote.
Giles Goodall, West Sussex
The Lib Dems in Scotland are in bed with Labour in the Scottish Parliament. How can anyone trust a party that has two agendas? For the general election they are decrying Labour yet in Scotland they support them in order to attempt the impossible - become ministers.
Lesley Mcdonald, Larkhall, Scotland
A refreshing change from the other untruthful parties.
Alison Hargreaves, Cambridge
Considering their openness, I would perhaps trust Lib Dems. I don't trust the Tories or Labour.
Daniel, Kent, UK
A vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to double your council tax. Many hard working families on average salaries will be forced to sell their houses to pay this 'fair' tax while the pensioner living next door will be smiling. Fair? Are they serious?
Paul, Bristol, UK
It doesn't matter whether their policies add up or not, they are trying to become the leading opposition party, not the next government. But this isn't a reason not to vote for them - their policies provide a real alternative and new ideas.
Dave Jones, York, UK
Finally a party actually looking to the future and addressing student issues - thank you!
Anyone refusing to vote for them because they agree with the policies, but think they will never get in, is helping to continue to condemn Britain to a two-party system.
Damian, Bristol, UK
Lib Dems is a wasted vote; they are going to be weak on crime and want to give more power to Brussels. 50% tax on highest earners will make them all leave our shores, meaning the middle class will have to brunt their spending plans.
My fiancée and I both work in average paying jobs. We rent because we don't earn enough to buy. Starting a family is utterly impossible. The Lib Dems' local income tax will cost us £2000 a year. Council tax is £950 a year. If Charles Kennedy gets in I'll be taxed white.
Tax hikes for the wealthy sound good and popular on paper, but the new top rate and the local income tax combined creates a massive disincentive to investment. If the LDs win, expect a recession by the end of their term. Fortunately - they won't!
With our current "rigged " election process, the Lib Dems unfortunately have little chance of real power. With proportional representation which the Lib Dems advocate, perhaps some sanity would prevail in British politics and Mr Kennedy would have the opportunity to implement some of his party's sensible policies
What a defeatist attitude - "they can't get into power"! Didn't some people say that about Labour? There is nothing to choose between Labour and the Tories. Let's just see what the Lib Dems do this time with their sensible policies for Britain!
Geoffrey Home, Ripon
All parties are about tax and spend. I'd prefer a party that was honest about tax and realistic about where the money should go. Fortunately, in more and more parts of the country - Vote Lib Dem, Get Lib Dem.
As with the Tory and Labour manifestos, I don't see anything about helping all the twenty-somethings who have no children, and helping them get their feet on the property ladder. We work hard and always seem to be worse off for it. Our taxes currently pay for "hardworking families", child tax credits etc. I have yet to see a party which will cater for all of us and give us something back. It's a sad day when a work colleague of mine has declared that she is way better-off financially after having a baby. She only works part-time. This country seems to be bleeding the childless people dry.
Harriet Kewish, Dalton, Cumbria
As a lifelong Labour supporter I will be voting for a real socialist alternative, the Lib Dems. If everybody who thinks the way I do votes for them the will get in.
Frank Baynham, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
They do not have enough experience. Case closed.
Alfie Noakes, North of England
So the chances of the Lib Dems winning the election are remote. However, this election does offer the chance of changing the face of British politics. There is a real opportunity for the Lib Dems to come second and become the 'real opposition' in reality, not just rhetoric. Then there's the chance to ditch the threat of the Tories for good and apply pressure to Labour. The can't win argument is defeatist and a longer-term view is needed.
Andy Bailey, Gainsborough
Charles Kennedy seems a decent chap but for every proposal that makes sense the Lib Dems publish one which is nonsense. This is why they've never been a credible alternative.
He is too boring. We need a leader with character.
Dave Honest, Berkshire
I think the policies proposed are fair to the majority and more importantly, socially, morally and environmentally sound. One thing that annoys me is people who continue to say: "It's good, but voting for them is a wasted vote". If everyone who said that, voted Lib-Dem we may see a change in government!
Chris Burland, Coventry, UK
No thanks! I already pay quite enough in taxes without the Lib Dems piling on more. Local income tax plus tax over 100K! I'd be financially stuffed. So let me get this straight - 1) pile a very large increase in taxes on me 2) sell the UK out to some EU superstate 3) resist public service reform and hence waste those extra taxes on unreformed services. A on unreformed services. And they ask for my vote? No way!
Higher tax? You must be kidding. We are taxed too heavily as it is!
James Murphy, Dorset
If people don't vote for the Lib Dems because they'll never make it into power then what is the point of having an election? They have the most sensible policies and seem to truly understand what the majority of British public want. I don't expect them to get a seat in my constituency, but I will vote for them and hope that when the counts come back people will realise that there are other real alternatives, and that a vote for the LDs would not be a wasted one.
Brian, Northern Ireland
The local income tax the Lib Dems are proposing will hit the average household far more than council tax, and it's bound to create a lot of bureaucracy.
The Lib Dem manifesto has cemented my vote for them. My partner and I will be slightly worse off with the new tax bane off with the new tax band and the local income tax. This is a small price to pay to keep away from the, in my view, bigoted views of the Tories or the general slide to the right of the current Labour government. I believe the Lib Dems are the only choice for any people who actually care about society in general and not just the size of their own wallets.
I want a better, fairer country for all and I'm willing to pay for it. I'll be voting Liberal.
Jamie, Glasgow, Scotland
Try their 'local income tax calculator' then decide. I can't afford to vote Lib Dem!
Katherine Scholey, Newport, S. Wales
There are some good points in the Lib Dem manifesto but there are two big ones that concern me. They have an obsession to be part of a politically united Europe as opposed to a trading organisation. Secondly, their law and order agenda worries me. Unlike the Lib Dems, I support mandatory, severe sentences for murder, rape and other serious crimes. They want to reduce sentences and take jail as an option away from many criminal acts. I say, look at the small print in their manifesto not just the big ideas.
How can some contributors to the this page say that we're being 'taxed to destruction' or that our tax rates are already too high? We have one of the lowest income tax rates in the EU, lower than France, Germany and Italy, and yet still people are complaining. No, the new higher rate won't affect me, and yes, I do think it is a good thing. But I would support it even if it did affect me - it's time to stop the other two parties taxing the poorer people unfairly.
Steve, Oxford, UK
It very much saddens me when much of the general population only expect an improvement in public services when taxation is increased. When will we learn that giving more money to any government does not guarantee any improvement as much of the money is wasted? In my opinion, the challenge of any government is to always look to take less money from ito take less money from its people, whilst trying to gain better and better value from the money is already gets, in other words, look to be efficient, like most private companies try to be. Before any of us say that we agree with any increase in taxation, we should ask ourselves the question, how much of our money that we already have taken from us is wasted?
Spot on manifesto - hopefully it will get a wide readership as we need fairness and a positive outlook from our politicians. Tory and Labour continue to argue the same points whilst claiming they are different. At least Charles is proposing radical solutions to some of the major issues facing the UK today. As you can probably gather he will have my vote
Andrew, Castle Bromwich
I'm only 16, but if I had a vote I would vote without a doubt for the Liberal Democrats. Their policies seem to be geared towards helping the electorate, rather than scaremongering. Not to mention, I like Charles Kennedy as a politician and agree with his ideas for a political debate based on hope for the future, rather than the sort of fear about house prices and immigrants spread around by the tabloids.
Joe Baldwin, Chesham, Bucks
When will politicians finally admit that UK plc is financially non-viable under the current tax/public services structures? Both Labour and Lib Dems seem intent on repeating the tax and spend errors of previous socialist/"socially aware" governments - "free" healthcare needs to be paid by someone, as do more teachers and building new schools. There is a limit to how much you can tax individuals without driving the country to bankruptcy. Face up to it, the whole sorry mess needs tough choices and to be aligned along more realistic and financially viable/controllable and sustainable lines.
Andy D, Oxford UK
Finally a party that's willing to be honest about the UK without using the outdated nationalistic dangerous politics that the Tories play with. The Lib Dems are NOT a 'quick vote' party playing on people's fears and misinformation on issues such as Europe and Immigration. I'm hoping for a hung parliament then we can have a Lib-Lab alliance and get a PR voting system.
I estimate that the Lib Dem tax proposals would reduce my net income by around a quarter. Why should this confiscatory tax level be considered reasonable? Why would anyone assume I'd be willing to work under that regime? The Lib Dems have clearly never heard of the Laffer Curver, where higher tax rates produce lower taxation revenue.
Roy Gillson, St Albans, Herts
The Lib/Dems can say what they like - promise what they like, because they know they have not got a chance of forming the next government
Andy Wynter, Wolverhampton
In my view, the Liberal democrats want to take money from the people who create jobs, who risk their own capital to make something better from their lives and give it to bureaucrats who interfere in every facet of an individual's life. Their ideas on crime are flawed - more cops to arrest criminals but don't actually stick them in jail. They want our foreign policy to be decided by the, in my view, corrupt UN, and everything else to be decided by the EU (which has worked so well on the French and German economies!).
Chris, London UK
I haven't read their manifesto, but they are the only party who strike me as being honest. I would have voted Labour if it wasn't for the War in Iraq or if Tony Blair had stood down. So Charlie it is.
This party talks a lot of sense. I think the proposals on scrapping council tax are overdue and it is about time the general population were taxed fairly. They have done the figure work, so where under Labour has money been going? I wonder. They definitely have my vote.
Simon, Ashford, Kent
I believe I would be significantly worse off financially under the Lib Dems, but better off in almost every other way I can think of. They get my vote.
Martin G, Nottingham, UK.
This is the election for the Liberal Democrats. Backed by experience of government in Scotland, they have shown they can deliver. Their stance on tax is the only honest one, and only those that can well afford to pay will pay more. What's more, every Liberal Democrat vote will send a clear message over Iraq and other issues. Vote Liberal Democrat, get Liberal Democrat!
Lib Dems seem to be more honest and more fair than the other two. Hope they can serve as an alternative to the current power politics. If enough of us disillusioned Labour supporters can vote them in, we'll have a much better opposition.
Dennis Oliver, Middlesbrough, UK
The council tax is already a means of taxing the rich. If you can afford a larger house, you pay more. If pensioners living in large houses still object, move to a smaller house and recoup some of the vast profits made over the past 20 years. Why should I have to pay for somebody else's bin to be collected?
With the local income tax, my household (2 working adults, no children, one bed flat) would see our equivalent council tax bill rise by 50%. How is that good for me?
I was previously considering voting Lib Dem, but reading comments from people outraged at their manifesto because it dares to suggest increasing taxes very slightly to pay for better public services has helped me make up my mind. I'm definitely voting Lib Dem.
Rory Mitchell, Edinburgh, UK
The Lib Dems seem to understand what the majority need. They opposed the Iraq war, want to help students by scrapping top up fees, help the elderly with free health care, have a sensible proposal to scrap the council tax and base it on incomes and increase the top rate of tax for those earning over ?100,000. Good proposals, something for the majority to benefit from and they get my vote.
Danny Blakeley, Bournemouth, UK
Replacing council tax with a local income tax is all wrong. Imagine two neighbours in identical houses. One 'idle rich' having inherited the house plus capital with no need to work - and thus paying no local income tax - while the other is working hard to pay the mortgage and paying a hefty slice of tax effectively for both him AND his neighbour. How is that fair?
Bob Bain, Kinghorn, Scotland
Replacing council tax with income tax means working people will be paying more tax, subsidising those who will not be paying anything. Free care to elderly and disabled people means working people will be paying more tax to subsidise those who are not working. The burden of tax on those who worked hard at school, worked hard to get a job and who are motivated to work, will be intolerable. When do we, who are stuck in the middle, get a break?
Victoria Keeble, Shrewsbury
Great, but they can't get into power, so what's the point in publishing a manifesto?
Wake up guys! Local income tax will hit you hard. At least council tax is one per household. If there is more than one wage earner in a household, they'll all pay local tax and that household will be far worse off. The Lib Dems will rob you.
David Ball, Wokingham, UK
I'm very keen to see the council tax replaced. If people paid income tax according to how much their house was worth there would be a riot.
Andrew M, Walsall, UK
Not persuaded at all. Rather than being a "real alternative" I see a vote to the Lib Dems as being a wasted vote as there is little chance of them ever getting in power.
George, Yorks, UK
The Lib Dems seem genuinely interested in bringing reason and sanity back into British politics. For once, their tag-line "The Real Alternative" seems accurate.
James Walker, Cheltenham, UK
Once again the Liberal Democrats can put themselves forward as the party who can say exactly what people want to hear, without worrying about how they will actually manage their proposals in government! They may have opposed the war, but can we elect them as a government solely for this reason?
Paul Dwyer, Oswaldtwislte, Lancashire
Well done the Lib Dems. In a socially responsible society it is incumbent upon those who are in a position to do so to support more vulnerable people through a fair system of taxation. The last thing this country needs is a return to the selfish and small-minded ways of previous Tory administrations.
David Wilkes, Birmingham, UK
Who cares about the Liberal Democrats manifesto because sadly it will be never implemented. At 100/1 on becoming PM Charles Kennedy is not getting the keys to 10 Downing Street. He can offer anything he likes, such as free flights to the moon, it is irrelevant. I hope that hant. I hope that he enjoys the time with his son.
Chris Parker, Bucks
An honest and humanist approach to Politics, the Lib Dems are what we need right now. Why does the national psychology refuse to let the Conservatives die peacefully and Lib Dems become the main party of opposition. We have such a negative mindset when it comes to voting.
Today's launch was a breath of fresh air. Kennedy shows that honestly IS the best policy. If the Lib Dems didn't exist someone would have to invent them if only to stand up for social justice. You've got my vote.
What has become clear is that the Liberal Democrats have now replaced Labour as the high tax and spend party. They claim to be honest about their policies but they have singularly failed to announce to the public plans for a whole raft of new taxes such as hotel tax, dog tax, plastic bag tax, speed camera tax, VAT on new homes, the list goes on.
Andy Johnson, London
I'm constantly bewildered by the get something for nothing attitude expected by many of the general populace and championed by the Tories. We want better schools, better health care, better policing and yet we don't want to pay for it.
Steven Shaw, York
As their new manifesto shows the, Lib Dems are at last talking sense about issues such as immigration, crime, the economy, crime, the economy, health and defence. Why on earth are they still the third party in Britain? Why do we still stubbornly believe the Tories are the only alternative to Labour?
Charles Kennedy has my vote. His is the only party which is honest about the fact that if we want good healthcare and education we will have to pay for it according to our income.
Rose, Bristol, UK
I don't doubt that a lot of people here will moan about the Lib Dems raising taxes and this being a vote loser. This is a sad reflection on society. They get my vote precisely because they are the only party who admit that the better off should pay more.
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK
To be honest, I would personally be worse off financially, with a Lib Dem government, but people less well off than me would probably benefit. I'd rather live in that type of society. So count me in Charles!
Abid Hussain, Manchester, UK
The Liberals say so much that I agree with but a couple of major policies which I seriously disagree with. I fear that if they get in, aspects of our sovereignty may be lost for ever, and I don't feel it is worth the risk.
Ian Sewell, York, UK
Don't care about tax, education, health, Europe, or any other self involved issues. They were the only party with the guts to oppose the war. They've got my vote!
Replacing council tax with a local income tax is a great idea. Council tax is becoming the poll tax of our generation - it's unfair to have to pay a flat rate depending on WHERE you live. It makes much more sense to make it income-related. For young people such as myself, the policy to scrap tuition fees is very welcome - one of the few issues that could actually get large numbers of young people to the polls. The Lib Dems seem to be more in tune with the issues the public are really worried about, rather than reacting to tabloid screaming.
As a long term Labour supporter, unfortunately I find myself sympathising more with some Lib Dem policies than my own party. It will be a real dilemma who to vote for this year for the first ever time. On social equality Lib Dems are the strongest party by promoting income based taxes. This makes it relative to people's ability to pay, rather than hidden revenue earners which affect everybody at an equal rate. The replacement for council tax is a winner and I think they have beaten Labour to that idea.
To raise the top rate of tax is a much better and fairer approach than to raise the national insurance contribution like Labour intends to do. Cutting taxes and reducing spending is worse still under the Conservatives. At least the Lib Dems are honest in their manifesto about their future about their future plans.
John Davies, Bristol
The local income tax, along with the 50% rate for £100K+ earnings are about fairness. Straight talking, honest, fair policies. What else could you want?
Ian, Cheshire, UK
The Lib Dems claim that currently the richest 20% pay less in tax than the poorest 20%. The problem is, they completely ignore tax credits, which have re-distributed large amounts of money to the poorest. They also want to end means-testing for pensions, which sounds good, but will mean the poorest pensioners will get the same as the richest, and will reverse the good work this government has done in cutting pensioner poverty.
George Owers, Chelmsford, UK
I will vote Liberal Democrat. They are the only party that is honest about how much money they need and how they will raise it. If you vote for either of the other parties then you just don't know what you are going to get!
Stuart Bonar, London, UK
It's about time a more progressive stance on council/income tax was adopted. Unfortunately the 'little Englander' view is prevalent in British society today and I doubt very much that the pro-EU standpoint will win many votes, even though I myself back it to the hilt.
Ash Mason, Sonning-on-Thames, UK
I find the proposal that pensioners pay no local income tax very odd. My father for instance has a significantly better income than I do, even in retirement. As it is people are not being encouraged to save for there old age, this surely would just exacerbate this. If it is a local income tax it should be, as with any other tax, based on your income. I must say I am a little saddened by what I think is a rather blatant vote winning promise which I seriously doubt would ever get implemented.
Jonathan, Peterborough, UK
A politician wanting to talk about the issues instead of slagging off other parties. It's refreshing, isn't it?
Tony S, UK
The Lib Dems' manifesto contains much with which I fully agree. The most socially responsible of the main parties, they have a good stance on protecting the vulnerable in our society. However, their weak position on crime and criminals lets them down and their policy on the EU is a vote loser.
Steve Stacey, Spalding, England
I would like to vote for the Lib Dems but their lib Dems but their local income tax proposals would effectively double our council tax bill. For this issue alone I cannot vote for them.
Scott, Leeds, UK
The Lib Dems are the new lefties who, like Labour, will tax us to destruction. Fortunately they don't have a chance of getting into government; unfortunately they will spoil the opportunity for the Conservatives to get Blair and his stealth tax cronies out of office.
David Ball, Wokingham, UK
What I don't understand is why Labour and the Tories prefer council tax - which requires a expensive separate bureaucracy for each council area - over a local income tax which can be added to the national income tax system at little extra cost and very little bureaucracy.
Joe, Brussels, Belgium
People would have to be very stupid to think that merely changing the form of local tax would actually mean that they will end up paying less. In general, a lot of woolly thinking as one would expect from the Liberals.
Dave, Sheffield, UK
The Lib Dem manifesto is nearer to the truth than any other.
Hugh, Wirral, Merseyside
Taxes are already too high. Yet the Lib Dems want to increase taxes even further. It's disgusting.
Andrew, London, UK