Politics:: articles from 2015 General Election Campaign
Achievements of coalition, and promises for the future
Entering the coalition in 2010 we knew that we were putting the national interest ahead of party interest. As a country we are not yet used to the idea of two parties working together and compromising.
An article on the right-wing Conservative Home web site a couple of years back had a picture of the Conservative manifesto being picked to pieces by Liberal Democrat birds and gives a sense of how they viewed our impact.
Some have questioned the extent of Liberal Democrat achievements in government, or been angry that we have not held sway in every argument. As very much the smaller party in the coalition, that would have been unreasonable expectation. Anger from the Conservative right wing gives a sense of what we have protected the country from, but there are also some very tangible achievements.
Our achievements include:
- raising the point where people start paying income tax to £10,000 (and beyond);
- scrapping ID cards;
- £400 million for talking therapies, and we seek to put mental health on the same footing as physical health;
- mapping out a path to renewable energy in 2050 with massive investment in low-carbon energy;
- setting up the Green Investment Bank;
- increasing overseas aid to 0.7% of GDP;
- reducing tax avoidance by giving new powers to HMRC;
- helping disadvantaged children have a good start in life through the pupil premium.
An unsung part of being in coalition is when others adopt our policies: the Tories have come round to supporting an increase in the point where people start to pay income tax, Labour to supporting the mansion tax, and our championing of mental health is being picked up more widely. Each of these are things we championed first.
Our vision is of a free, fair and open society, where the values of liberty, equality and community work together to create a society where no-one is enslaved by ignorance, poverty or conformity. This is the voice we took into coalition in 2010 and bring to working with others in the next parliament.
Thats the princple, the headlines include:
- guaranteeing the £8Bn needed by the NHS;
- championing mental health;
- increasing the point where people start to pay income tax to £12500;
- cutting less than the Tories and borrowing less than Labour;
- five green laws to protect our environment;
- an emphasis on opportunity for all.
See also Coalition and Promises