Alliance Party Policies and Manifesto Details

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Opposing steep cuts in UK public spending, including seeking to exempt Northern Ireland from cuts as far as possible in return for local commitment to reform.

Alliance believes that if the economic recovery is going to benefit everybody, every community in Northern Ireland must be fulfilling its economic potential. This means that as well as investing in big projects, we must invest in town centres, high streets, local districts and urban villages. These are usually the economic heart of communities across Northern Ireland and need support to ensure that all parts of Northern Ireland are involved in economic growth.

Unfortunately, the high street will not be the same as it has been in the past and we will need to reconsider what we want it to look like. This will mean a mix of shops, cafes and restaurants, residential properties and non-retail businesses. This will help to ensure vibrant community economies despite trends towards out-of-town retail centres and internet shopping.

Reforms to business rates to make it easier for entrepreneurs to establish a business in vacant premises, such as scrapping business rates for the first year for a new business.

Support for Business Improvement Districts, whereby businesses fund regeneration in their area through a levy on business rates.

Some reforms due to take place in the Assembly, such as the introduction of Business Improvement Districts, will create structures that allow community business interests to be developed. We will seek to maximise these.

Alliance would support legislation to separate retail banking from investment banking.

Alliance supports the call for a differential rate of Corporation Tax for Northern Ireland, ideally at 12.5%.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Our key policy commitments include:

Encouraging greater co-operation and co-ordination between the criminal justice agencies tackling undue delay and the speed of justice, including working to agreed and shared targets;

Providing new alternative to prosecutions for low-level offences;

Delivering comprehensive reform of the legal aid system, including full provision of adequate funding and other resources to the disadvantaged in society, ensuring equality of access to justice for all;

Reviewing strategies for assisting victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system and the development of a Victims' Code of Practice;

Developing a formal set of guidelines on sentencing and on the enforcement of judgements, through the creation of a Northern Ireland Sentencing Guidelines Council;

Facilitating of collaborative working between statutory and non-statutory agencies to drive down offending and re-offending rates;

Creating a Northern Ireland Offender Management Strategy;

Reviewing the conditions of detention, management and oversight of all prisons;

Producing a five-year community safety strategy;

Rationalising District Policing Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships, ideally as part of wider community planningdevelopments;

Developing and resourcing of an active strategy to engage with communities to commence and support a process for the removal of so-called 'peace-walls';

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance will support a Strategic Defence Review. We believe that the balance of investment in the armed services needs to change to reflect the different challenges of peacekeeping and peacemaking.

Alliance believes that no serviceman or woman should be sent into conflict on less basic pay than the starting salary of a police constable.

There are pressing demands for investment in armoured protection and transport for troops and in the pay and living standards for service personnel and their families.

We would ensure taxpayers' money is spent more effectively on equipping the armed forces for the tasks of the future, not past threats. There is also a need for greater support and services for returning service personnel and also for their families.

Alliance has seen no evidence to suggest that the like-for-like renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system is necessary or cost-effective. Alliance believes that other approaches can be found to ensure the nuclear security of the United Kingdom with a different focus to reflect the security challenges of the future rather than refighting the Cold War.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance is committed in principle to abolishing tuition fees for Northern Ireland students, as in Scotland, at the earliest opportunity.

Setting a minimum target of 20% of children in integrated education by 2020, backed up by legislation which will make it easier to establish new integrated schools and help other schools to integrate.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance is a pro-environmental party. We believe that tackling climate change is a priority and that the new district Councils should be at the forefront of this. We have a long record of supporting groups who wish to take action in their communities and arguing for investment at a district level. We are proud of our environmental record and will be the most active party on your Council on these issues.

Alliance believe that one of the most important tasks for the new Councils will be to improve the amount of waste that Councils recycle- making sure that we are not throwing out items that can be recycled and always looking to reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill. This is one of the simplest ways we can reduce our impact on the environment.

Alliance supports regional, national, European and international efforts to protect the environment. Alliance supports the implementation of the Rio and Kyoto Treaties. Although the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 'recognises' the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2°C, there was no commitment to legally binding, timely emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

Alliance will work for Sustainable Development at all levels of government. Protecting the environment and developing our economy are not mutually exclusive, but interdependent. This is reflected in the concept of sustainable development, as it recognises the links between economic, social and environmental concerns. It is about balancing all of these needs.

Alliance endorses the 'polluter pays' principle. This means that those who pollute more should pay more and provides a financial incentive to pollute less. We support a shift in taxation towards pollution and resource depletion. Consistent with the 'polluter pays' principle, the use of market forces can contribute to the protection of the environment.

Alliance calls for the creation of a Green Economy Task Force. This body could be sponsored by the Northern Ireland Executive and include representatives from the business community.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance supports the principle of the United Kingdom's entry into the Euro at the earliest appropriate opportunity governed by the economic convergence criteria. We do recognise that those criteria do not clearly exist at present.

Alliance will support measures to develop and reinforce the Single Market. All member states should be encouraged to comply with their obligations.

Alliance supports an enhanced role of the European Union in financial regulation. The recent economic recession was partially international in nature and efforts to prevent a repeat are required at the European level in addition to domestic action.

Alliance will support reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to ensure a long term sustainable agriculture sector, through shifting support from production and export subsidies towards diversification, conservation and rural development.

Alliance will work towards a co-ordinated European effort to fight organised crime and terrorism. Organised criminals and terrorists do not respect national borders. Therefore collaboration across borders by states and regions is essential.

Alliance will support the maintenance of the UK's participation within the European Arrest Warrant and the European Police Office (EUROPOL).

Alliance will support the further enlargement of the European Union, including the membership of Turkey.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance would support measures to allow parents more flexibility around maternity and paternity leave. This would enable mothers and fathers to determine the most effective balance to fit their own family and work circumstances.

Alliance will work to provide well resourced childcare provision. There are successful childcare voucher employer/employee tax incentive schemes that we will promote and implement with sufficient funding.

Requiring concerted government action to improve relations with other groups, such as ethnic minorities and the LGBT community.

Alliance Councillors will push to make sure your community is as clean as possible. This will mean using our position on the Council to push for:

More street-sweepers to keep our streets tidier, including making sure they are out and about more at busier times.

Investment in graffiti removal, prioritising sectarian or other offensive graffiti which intimidates as well as looks ugly.

Introducing new techniques to reduce dog-fouling as well as providing more dog waste bins.

Campaigning for more litter bins on our streets where they are needed.

Alliance is also committed to increasing the number and accessibility of nursery places in Northern Ireland.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance would replace the current 'First-Past-the-Post' electoral system with the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of Proportional Representation. A plurality electoral system, such as 'First-Past-the-Post', does not produce fair and representative outcomes in a diverse society.

Alliance will support 'Votes at 16'. Young people have a stake in society. They can pay taxes and participate in the services. It is inconsistent to deny young people the right to have their say in the future.

Alliance believes that the House of Lords should be replaced by a mixed elected and appointed second chamber. The principle of inherited representation is wrong. However, there is a case for a second chamber to act as a balance to the House of Commons.

Elected representatives could be elected by Proportional Representation from the 12 regions of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Alliance will support the introduction of a register of lobbyists at Westminster. This is vital to assist in creating greater transparency.

Further to this, there should be an interval before former government ministers are allowed to become lobbyists.

Alliance will support a cap on the level of donations to political parties from individual sources. The initial level of a cap should be around £10,000 per annum.

Alliance will support the consideration of a system whereby electors can recall an MP in the event of major breaches of code of conduct and law.

Alliance MPs would be full-time and will support further action against 'double-jobbing'. Future legislation could bar MPs from holding other public offices, and also working in other jobs and professions or engaging in consultancy beyond a set number of hours annualised.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance is committed to a National Health Service that is free to all at the point of entr y.

Alliance stresses the importance of investment in public health and prevention. In particular bearing in mind that the incidence of mental health problems is much higher in Northern Ireland than the UK-average, we are committed to the full implementation of the recommendations of the Bamford Review.

We would address the structural underfunding of mental health services, particularly with respect to children and young people.

Alliance is further conscious of the inadequate system of social care of our senior citizens in Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the United Kingdom.

We have a longstanding commitment to free personal care. It is wrong that people are forced into selling their homes to fund their care. Alliance would also welcome a UK-wide Commission to study this issue.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

We believe that there is a difficult balance to be struck between keeping the rates as low as possible and funding quality public services. However, we believe that all people should pay their fair share of the district (and regional) rate by removing the cap that stops the owners of the wealthiest properties from paying the same percentage rate as everyone else.

Alliance advocates the following elements as part of a Northern Ireland Green New Deal:

Energy efficiency in homes and businesses - this involves incentives and regulations to encourage the installation of such measures, including 'smart meters' and home insulation.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance recognises that immigration must be regulated in order to be fair, but is opposed to a mindset of 'pulling up the drawbridge' and shutting the UK off from a globalising world.

There is a need for formal exit controls to capture numbers leaving in order to complement information on those who have arrived.

Alliance would change the rules to make it easier to get a work permit for those who are willing to go and live in a part of the United Kingdom that is short of workers. This would encourage newcomers to live where they are needed.

Alliance supports a points-based system, linked to skills, as the least worst of all the alternatives for regulating legal immigration. We are opposed to an arbitrary cap that has been proposed by some, such as the Conservative and Unionists.

There is a need for a stronger safety net for immigrants when they lose employment.

Alliance is keen to attract students to study in UK Further and Higher Education Colleges. However, there is a need for stronger checks to ensure that this avenue is not abused.

Alliance would support measures to allow asylum seekers in certain circumstances to work two months after making an application and benefits would only be paid if they could not find work. This would reduce spending on benefits, increase tax revenue, help integration, lower community tensions and greatly reduce dependence on welfare and social housing.

Alliance would advocate taking responsibility away from the Home Office and give it to an independent agency, thus making decisions free from political influence. Currently 25% of decisions are overturned on appeal.

Alliance would allow people who have been in the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland for 10 years, have a clean record and who want to live here long-term to earn citizenship thus allowing immigration services to focus their time deporting dangerous individuals and checking up on employers to stop illegal working.

Alliance believes that the priority for deportation should be on criminals, while letting law-abiding families earn citizenship.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance believes that green transport options should be pursued as a priority alongside other modes of transport. That is why we will support Councils adopting sustainable travel plans that make it easier for cyclists and walkers to get about town and will include advance planning about new bus routes.

We will especially promote safe cycle routes and storage and suitable pavements and road crossings to encourage walking.

Alliance will lobby for a revised Aviation Strategy for the United Kingdom. Aviation policy is not currently devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance would oppose Conservative and Unionist plans for a £3 a week marriage tax credit . The tax system is not the appropriate mechanism to promote so-called family values. Every family is different, and instead of creating rigid rules or special policies that help some families and not others, measures should be put in place that address poverty and lack of opportunities.

Alliance will work towards the eradication of pensioner poverty. We would support increasing the basic state pension, paid alongside other existing entitlements, to provide some financial stability for all.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance will support the introduction of a standard minimum wage from the age of 16. This reflects our commitment to fairness and non-discrimination.

Alliance would support measures to allow parents more flexibility around maternity and paternity leave. This would enable mothers and fathers to determine the most effective balance to fit their own family and work circumstances.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance are in favour of the following policies:

Alliance strongly supports a successful comprehensive Climate Change agreement . The limited agreement from the Copenhagen Summit is be followed-up at talks in Bonn and Mexico.

We also support for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

Alliance supports the UK Government meeting and maintaining the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP for international development aid and assistance. We further encourage the use of the UN Development Programme's Human Development Index to measure the quality of life in countries. Alliance will continue to oppose tying aid to trade.

Alliance calls for co-ordinated action led by the United Kingdom to realise the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Structural changes in the developing world, such as investment in primary education, are vital to remove the dependency on short-term aid and relief.

We also urge the continuation and advancement of international leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We must put our efforts into education and preventive programmes.

Alliance advocates an open and fair international trading system. We would call in particular on the industrialised world, including the EU and the USA, to lead the way towards a more broad-based economic model to ensure that economic disasters can be mitigated.

Alliance supports fair trade initiatives. We are committed to promoting the welfare of workers in the developing world and ensuring fair prices for products.

Alliance endorses the introduction of a small tax on international financial transactions, such as the proposed 'Tobin Tax' . Organised multilaterally, the proceeds would fund international development.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

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