Party Policies Compare Plaid Cymru policies against Liberal Democrat policies

Please note this website was created for the 2015 General Election. Due to the lack of preparation time, we have not updated this website for the 2017 Election. Why?

Business
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Start a 'buy local' campaign, including legislation to improve public procurement, as well as improving opportunities for Welsh based business within the procurement chain to create 50,000 new jobs.

A Business bank for Wales to support SMEs and with promotion of the Welsh economy as a priority

Support new infrastructure projects which create jobs now and increase connectivity, such as the Valleys Metro, and special purpose investment vehicles such as Build 4 Wales.

Promote co-operative and mutual forms of business, including social enterprises, to develop and improve business and entrepreneurial skills in our communities.

Plaid Cymru would extend the Business Rate support scheme we established during our time in Government to cover all businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less. The scheme would cover 80,000 businesses across Wales and would relieve 70,000 businesses of having to pay business rates at all.

Businesses with a rateable value of up to 10,000 would receive 100% relief from business rates with tapered relief for businesses between £10,000 and £15,000.

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

We believe that crime and justice policy should be decided here in Wales, so that we can set our priorities for keeping our streets safe.

Plaid Cymru calls for a Justice (Devolution of Powers Wales) Bill. We will continue to campaign for Welsh control over our crime and justice system in its entirety, including policing and youth justice, so that Wales can fully tackle the complex problems of individual and community safety and rehabilitation.

We call for the building of juvenile and women's prisons and we fully support a prison in the north of Wales. We are also committed to the campaign for bilingual juries in Wales and a separate legal jurisdiction for Wales.

We believe that crime is committed for a wide number of interlocking reasons and so can only be dealt with through a full range of policies for the economy, education, social justice and the regeneration of communities.

We call for a National Community Safety Strategy for Wales, more drug rehabilitation places and programmes, drugs and alcohol education in every school in Wales and better amenities for young people in their communities.

We also want to see the introduction of stricter controls on how drinks are advertised and marketed, greater support for victims and witnesses to help people feel safer in their communities and a political commitment to restorative justice and community sentencing where appropriate.

Plaid Cymru has noted the disproportionate number of ex-service personnel in prison and has called for a strategic review of the ways in which welfare support is administered to veterans.

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

Plaid Cymru did not support the war in Iraq; in fact, we vociferously opposed it. Moreover, our MPs led the campaign to impeach Tony Blair for war crimes.

We also opposed the invasion of Afghanistan from the beginning and we now call for a move towards a situation in the country where Afghans can be safe to develop their own country without external political influence. Plaid Cymru therefore call for a sufficient humanitarian framework following the gradual withdrawal of troops.

We do, of course, believe that while they are there, the young men and women in the armed forces should be protected and cared for, so we have called for a Military Well-Being Act to promote and safeguard the physical and mental health and wellbeing of military personnel.

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

Plaid Cymru propose a new Green Skills Construction College that would specialise in green energy.

The party would establish a publicly-owned energy company.

A Plaid Cymru government would rebuild our economy around our strengths and create an environment in which the private sector can flourish. Rather than hand out individual support packages to individual businesses, we would make Wales an attractive place to do business through creating a skilled workforce specialising in high value sectors, investing in our internal and external infrastructure and making finance more accessible.

Plaid Cymru has called for a new arms length, publically-owned Bank of Wales business investment bank. The bank would make finance available to small businesses at competitive rates, encouraging existing businesses to invest in themselves, potentially boosting employment and encouraging new business startups.

Plaid believes that we should abolish the unfair and outdated council tax system and introduce a local income tax. A local income tax would be based on the ability to pay, not on the value of property. It would be fairer and more efficient.

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

A single national curriculum will provide for core learning whilst enabling greater flexibility for schools and professionals to innovate, e.g. outdoor learning, third foreign language, Information Technology.

We will respect the professionalism of teachers and assistants, expect Continuous Professional Development and reward good practice with less bureaucracy

Examinations should be independently regulated, including a reduction in the confusing range that pupils are allowed to sit.

There should be a closer alignment between under-graduate and vocational skills, especially at the higher level.

We call for a study into the feasibility of providing every infant school child in Wales with free school meals as there is a clear link between poor diet and educational attainment.

We will continue to oppose foundation schools, academies and free schools, which lack public accountability and in many cases have poor staffing practices, including lack of union recognition and weaker conditions of service for staff, as well as introducing the private sector into our education system.

We strongly believe that every child in Wales has the right to education in the Welsh language, including pupils with Special Educational Needs and we will continue to push for strengthened targets.

We support the recommendations made in the review of qualifications for 14-19 year olds to retain GCSEs and A Levels and to develop and enhance the Welsh Baccalaureate as a framework for learning for this age group.

We will call for the Welsh government to look at moving from a per-pupil funding mechanism to a funding model based on the catchment area. It is crucial that education authorities have sufficient resources to provide Welsh medium education and adequate services for children with special educational needs.

The Party of Wales will not support any further increases in tuition fees for our higher education students, and will seek the abolition of tuition fees as and when public finances allow.

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

The National Assembly has agreed, with cross-party support, to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Plaid will work to ensure that this decision is turned into meaningful and effective action to achieve the full reduction.

Plaid Cymru demands the full devolution of all powers over energy policy to the National Assembly.

Wales must take full advantage of our renewable energy resources and support micro generation and other small-scale sustainable power generation schemes, including tidal, wave-power, on-shore and off-shore wind, hydro and biomass.

Our preferred option for harnessing the energy of the Severn is a combination of lagoons and tidal-stream turbines which would minimise environmental damage while maximising zero-carbon electricity generation at a cost affordable to consumers.

We call for emission performance standards for all new power stations and we reaffirm our opposition to the construction of any new nuclear power stations in Wales.

Plaid in Westminster will continue to campaign for a windfall tax on energy companies to help pay for grants for insulation for lower income families.

We will continue to oppose the use of waste incinerators and support binding targets for waste prevention. We support recycling targets of 80% of domestic waste by 2020 and the introduction of a higher landfill tax.

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

We are committed to an independent Wales as a full member of the European Union.

We will continue to support further democratic reform of the EU.

We are committed to increased representation for Wales in the EU. This includes a fair number of MEPs for Wales, a European Parliament office in Wales, a rotating European Commissioner and most importantly, a vote for Wales in the Council of Ministers.

Plaid will continue to fight for transitional European financial support to continue after 2013.

We support further enlargement of the EU provided that those countries that wish to join improve conditions of democracy, justice and the rule of law. We support ongoing membership negotiations with Turkey as a means to encourage democratic reform in that country, improve women's rights and promote the democratic interests of the Kurdish people.

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

Plaid Cymru has three policy options for childcare: 1) Free optional full-time Foundation Phase place for all three and four year olds, 2) Top-up the existing ten hours Foundation Phase place offered to three and four year olds with twenty hours free childcare, and 3) Ten hours free childcare for three year olds on top of the existing ten hour Foundation Phase place and twenty hours free childcare for two year olds.

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

We oppose the micro management of local councils by central government and are committed to ensuring that local councils have the freedom and funding to respond appropriately to local issues.

In the long term, Plaid would create an All-Wales Civil Service, with civil servants and officers able to move freely between the National Assembly for Wales, Local Government in Wales and The National Health Service in Wales. We believe that this model will encourage cooperation, the sharing of best practice, and will result in more joined-up thinking.

We will make sure that voluntary groups, local businesses and individuals have every opportunity to share their views on decisions impacting their local community. We will support the campaign for participatory budgeting in our local authorities to ensure that local citizens have a voice in how money is spent.

Plaid is committed to a fairer voting system and will continue to campaign for the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote for every election in Wales including local authority elections. We will also continue to call for the right to vote at 16 as a way of encouraging young people to take part in the political process.

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

Plaid Cymru wants to train, retain and recruit a well-motivated, caring and expert NHS and social care workforce. We want to increase our capacity to train the future medical workforce and we will incentivise training in hard-to-recruit areas and specialisms.

We want to see the Welsh NHS participate in more clinical trials and research. We want to see improved availability of diagnostics for cancers and chronic conditions. We want to see a medical service that is judged on its outcomes for people, not on inputs.

Where individuals have developed substance addictions, then we want to provide a service to enable people to conquer their addiction.

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

The next Plaid Cymru government would introduce several schemes designed to help young people in Wales get onto the housing ladder.

We would change planning laws to ensure that local people benefited from housing developments, and that young people were no longer forced to move away from their communities due to second home owners pushing up prices and lack of high wage employment in many parts of Wales.

We will reform the way in which social housing is allocated to stop abuses in the system and ensure fairness.

We will improve the quality of housing in the private rented sector through better regulation and tenancy reform that ensures both landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

We will invest in the retro-fitting of older homes to ensure that families keep their fuel bills low and stimulate the local economy.

Plaid Cymru also believes that VAT for home repairs should be cut to 5% - people should not be paying excessive tax simply to ensure their home is a healthy and safe place to live.

Empty Properties are also an issue we want to tackle. We will extend the empty properties scheme to ensure more derelict and empty homes are brought back into use, and no longer will communities have to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that can accompany such housing.

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

Plaid Cymru recognises the invaluable contribution that migrants have made to Wales. Our civic nationalism celebrates tolerance, mutual understanding and difference. Equally, we recognise the potential shared benefits of greater co-operation in asylum and immigration at EU level, and the important role that Europe could play in assisting the integration of new migrants including in the languages of the stateless nations.

We condemn the point-scoring used by other parties and the pandering to unfounded xenophobic prejudices in the debate on immigration.

We oppose a points-based system, which we know would take no account of the skills requirements in different parts of Wales.

Plaid Cymru also supports the right of asylum seekers to work in Wales while they wait for status decisions to be made and we call for the speeding up of the unnecessarily complicated asylum system.

We condemn the practice of housing recently-arrived asylum seekers, especially children, in "detention" or "removal" centres as punitive and cruel, and we will continue to lobby the Westminster government to ensure that they keep their promise to shut these centres.

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

We now have major plans for the future of public transport in Wales. We recognise that the rail network will never help us to achieve our environmental objectives unless it is both cheap and attractive to use, and that will not happen without significant and ongoing commitment of public funds.

We reiterate our call for the railway system to be brought back into public ownership. While we will pursue this objective, we will also pursue other socially useful options such as not-for-dividend or co-operative rail services, and greater devolution of rail infrastructure powers and responsibilities to Wales.

Plaid Cymru also supports providing alternatives to the car. Walking and cycling, particularly in urban centres, needs to be protected in legislation, and the right infrastructure provided in terms of routes, signage, and information.

Rural areas also need the right transport solutions, including demand-led bus services and the ongoing expansion of the Traws Cymru bus network, which aims to compensate for the disastrous Beeching rail cuts inflicted on Wales in the past.

To function as an economy and be recognised internationally, Wales needs an international airport of its own, as well as connections to hubs in neighbouring countries. Plaid Cymru suggested the idea of taking Cardiff Airport into public ownership, in order to prevent it from closing down.

We would look to use more of the annual Welsh Government budget to make rail fares more affordable, viewing this not as additional subsidy but as investment that also would benefit road users and the environment.

We will continue to campaign on the issue of Barnettising HS2 and in favour of spreading rail investment across the state, as part of a wider rebalancing of the United Kingdom and a state-level economic policy for the nations and regions.

Plaid Cymru is committed to maintaining the concessionary fares scheme which is a lifeline for many of our older citizens and accounts for over 40% of all local bus journeys.

Plaid Cymru is of the view that the case for a new M4 motorway is not sustainable or affordable.

Our proposal on the Severn Tolls is for ownership to transfer to the Welsh Government, and a reduction in tolls to cover maintenance levels only.

Plaid Cymru supports increasing the number of 20mph zones, especially around schools, but in whichever neighbourhoods where there is local demand.

We support the devolution of speed limits. Plaid Cymru does not see the case for changing the existing motorway speed limit, but notes that the UK Government has considered increasing the motorway speed limit for England and Wales.

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

Plaid Cymru is opposed to the welfare reform which links benefit payments to work and threatens benefit sanctions for those unable to meet unfair and unrealistic government demands. Plaid believes that this will simply result in a vicious cycle of people who live between in-work and out-of-work poverty.

Plaid Cymru in government will make the abolition of child poverty a top priority. We will press for a move away from complex and expensive means testing for child-related benefits.

Because legislation on pensions is not devolved, Plaid will instead continue to campaign for the introduction of a living pension during the period of the next parliament for those aged 80 and over. In the longer term, when the state of the public finances allows, we would lower the qualifying age.

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

Plaid Cymru would enforce a living wage for all.

Create apprenticeships and job opportunities by investing in training and working with both large and SME businesses and training providers to ensure that young people have market-ready skills.

Tackle under-employment by supporting people into work, supporting higher value jobs, flexible working patterns and childcare assistance.

Plaid calls for stringent implementation of labour laws for all workers, including enforcement of a living wage to address the injustice of poor pay and unfair working conditions.

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

Plaid will press the UK government to honour the commitment to delivering 0.7% of GDP as international aid and we will continue to campaign for the cancellation of developing countries' unaffordable debts.

We also reaffirm our support for the international Fair Trade movement. We will continue to campaign for the rights of minority nations and minority language speakers in Europe and in future possible accession countries such as Turkey.

We support a global tax on financial transactions as a means of encouraging more responsibility and stability in the global markets.

We support urgent and far-reaching reforms of the World Bank and IMF in order to improve regulation and accountability.

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

Industrial Strategy and Business Bank to grow modern British businesses; and delivered 99,000 jobs with our £3 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Continue to develop our Industrial Strategy, working with key sectors which are critical to Britain's ability to trade internationally motor vehicles, aerospace, low-carbon energy, chemicals, creative industries and more.

Support innovation through greater public funding on a longer timescale, with a ring-fenced science budget, more 'Catapult' innovation and technology centres and a green innovation arm within the new Business Bank.

Facilitate new entrants to the banking sector, including through public procurement policy, so that there is much more choice and variety of competitors in banking, in particular business banking, encourage the growth of crowd funding and alternative finance models, and promote a new community banking sector to support SMEs and social enterprises.

Grow the Green Investment Bank.

Continue to reform business tax to ensure it stays competitive, making small and medium-sized enterprises the priority for any business tax cuts.

Establish a new Regulation Advisory Board to reduce regulatory uncertainty and remove unnecessary business regulation.

Take tough action against corporate tax evasion and abusive avoidance strategies, including by continuing to invest in HMRC, as we have done in government, to enable them to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, and introducing a general anti-avoidance rule.

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

Design out opportunities for crime, by improving the built environment, the design of new technologies, and community resilience.

End the use of imprisonment for possession of drugs for personal use and move the drugs and alcohol policy lead from the Home Office to the Department of Health. We will establish a Commission to assess the effectiveness of current drugs law and alternative approaches, including further work on diverting users into treatment or into civil penalties that do not attract a criminal record which can seriously affect their chances of employment.

Create a National Institute for Crime Prevention, to provide evidence and guidance of what works in fighting and preventing crime.

Ensure that teachers, social workers, police offers and health workers in areas where there is high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation are trained to help those girls at risk of being cut.

Improve support for victims of crime.

Guarantee the police pursue the public's priorities by replacing Police and Crime Commissioners with Police Boards made up of councillors from across the force area.

Encourage police forces and other emergency services to work together to reduce back office costs and exploit opportunities for efficiency savings.

Explore the case for transferring responsibility for more serious national crime to the National Crime Agency.

Work with EU partners to tackle serious and organised crime.

Create sentencing options which are effective in protecting the public, while reducing the risks of re-offending. We want to see an enhanced role for restorative justice, and will do more to keep young people and women out of prison. We will promote the use of Community Justice Panels.

Reform prisons, so they become places of work, rehabilitation and learning. We will encourage third sector providers to deliver improved rehabilitation.

Make more offenders perform unpaid work in the community to ensure they pay back to their community.

Provide experts on hand in courts and in police stations to identify where mental health or a drug problem is one of the main drivers behind an offender's behaviour so they can be dealt with in a way that is appropriate. We will pilot US-style drug and alcohol courts.

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

Maintain strong and effective armed forces, and set long-term budgets to procure the right equipment at competitive prices.

Remain fully engaged in international nuclear disarmament efforts.

Retain our Trident independent nuclear deterrent through a Contingency Posture of regular patrols, enabling a 'surge' to armed patrols when the international security context makes this appropriate. This would enable us to reduce the UK warhead stockpile and procure fewer Vanguard successor submarines, and would help the UK to fulfil our nuclear non-proliferation treaty commitments.

Improve the care of members of our armed forces by re-affirming the Military Covenant, improving mental health service provisions for serving personnel and veterans, and introducing a Veterans Commissioner.

Invest in our security services and act to counter cyber-attacks.

Work to engage with and strengthen multilateral institutions worldwide including global bodies such as the UN and regional groupings.

Support the UN principle of 'Responsibility to Protect'. This principle focuses on the security of individuals, rather than states.

Implement a policy of 'presumption of denial' for arms exports to countries listed as countries of concern in the Foreign Office's annual human rights report.

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

Raise the Personal Allowance to at least £12,500, cutting your taxes by around £400 more

Secured the biggest ever cash rise in the state pension with our ‘triple lock’ policy on uprating

Legislate to make the ‘triple lock’ permanent, guaranteeing decent pensions rises each year

Cut the cost of childcare with more free hours for 3 and 4 year olds, and help for disadvantaged 2 year olds too.

Extend free childcare to all two year olds, and to the children of working families from the end of paid parental leave

Helped people balance work and family life with Shared Parental Leave and the Right to Request flexible working for all

Expand Shared Parental Leave with a ‘use it or lose it’ month for fathers, and introduce a right to paid leave for carers

Kept welfare spending under control, while blocking plans to cut off young people’s benefits

Make sure it pays to work by rolling out Universal Credit, and invest in back-to-work and healthcare support for those who need it

Raise the tax-free Personal Allowance to at least £12,500 by the end of the next Parliament, putting around £400 back in the pockets of millions of working people and pensioners. We will bring forward the planned increase to an £11,000 allowance to April 2016.

Consider, as a next step, and once the Personal Allowance rise is delivered, raising the employee National Insurance threshold to the Income Tax threshold, as resources allow, while protecting low earners’ ability to accrue pension and benefit entitlements.

Ensure those with the highest incomes and wealth are making a fair contribution. We have identified a series of distortions, loopholes and excess reliefs that should be removed, raising money to contribute to deficit reduction. These include reforms to Capital Gains Tax and Dividend Tax relief, refocusing Entrepreneurs’ Relief and a supplementary Corporation Tax for the banking sector. In addition, we will introduce a UK-wide High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2 million. It will have a banded structure, like Council Tax.

Take tough action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance, including by:

Levying penalties on firms proven to facilitate tax evasion, equivalent to the amount of tax evaded by their clients.

Restrict access to non-domiciled status, increasing the charges paid to adopt this status and ending the ability to inherit it.

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

Protect early years, school, sixth form and college budgets – investment from nursery to 19 to raise standards for all

A million more children now taught in good or outstanding schools

Parents’ Guarantee: core curriculum in every school and every child taught by qualified teachers

Driven up standards and narrowed the attainment gap between rich and poor children

End illiteracy and innumeracy by 2025, with action in nurseries to get all four year olds ready for school by 2020

Free school meals for the youngest children in primary school

Extend free school meals to all primary pupils

Two million apprenticeships, training our young people for 21st century jobs, and record numbers going to university

Raise the quality of early years provision and ensure that by 2020 every formal early years setting employs at least one person who holds an Early Years Teacher qualification. Working with organisations like Teach First, we will recruit more staff with Early Years Qualified status, and extend full Qualified Teacher status, terms and conditions to all those who are properly trained.

Increase our Early Years Pupil Premium – which gives early years settings extra money to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds – to £1,000 per pupil per year.

Continue to support Local Authorities in providing Children’s Centres, especially in areas of high need, encouraging integration with other community services like health visitors, and in particular reviewing the support and advice available for parents on early child nutrition and breastfeeding.

Improve the identification of Special Educational Needs and disability at the earliest possible stage, so targeted support can be provided and primary schools are better prepared for their intake of pupils.

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

Pass a Zero Carbon Britain Act to set a new legally binding target to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

Realise the full potential of the Green Investment Bank by increasing its capitalisation, expanding its remit, allowing it to raise funds independently and enabling it to issue green bonds.

Place the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) on the same statutory footing as the Committee on Climate Change through our Nature Act. We will task the NCC with identifying the key natural resources being used unsustainably and recommending legally binding targets for reducing their net consumption; and introduce incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.

Help incentivise sustainable behaviour by increasing the proportion of tax revenue accounted for by green taxes.

Grow the market for green products and services with steadily higher green criteria in public procurement policy, extending procurement requirements more widely through the public sector including to the NHS and Academy schools. In particular we will deliver ambitious reductions in energy use.

Increase research and development and commercialisation support in four key low-carbon technologies where Britain could lead the world: tidal power, carbon capture and storage, energy storage and ultra-low emission vehicles.

Ensure UK Trade and Investment and UK Export Finance can prioritise support for key sectors identified in our Industrial Strategy, including exports of green products and technologies, and press for higher environmental standards for export credit agencies throughout the OECD.

Encourage the creation of green financial products to bring consumer capital into green industries.

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

Remain a committed member of the EU so we can complete the Single Market in areas including online industries, the energy market and services, and help negotiate EU international trade agreements, opening opportunities for British businesses.

Support Single Market disciplines in relation to competition and state aid rules while creating a stronger public interest test for takeovers in research-intensive activities.

Continue to allow high-skill immigration to support key sectors of the economy, and ensure work, tourist and family visit visas are processed quickly and efficiently.

Ensure the UK is an attractive destination for overseas students, not least those who wish to study STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We will reinstate post-study work visas for STEM graduates who can find graduate-level employment within six months of completing their degree.

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

Commit to an ambitious goal of 20 hours’ free childcare a week for all parents with children aged from two to four years, and all working parents from the end of paid parental leave (nine months) to two years. This will not only help parents afford to work, it will help all children start school confident, happy and ready to learn.

Start by providing 15 hours a week of free childcare to the parents of all two year olds. We will then prioritise 15 hours free childcare for all working parents with children aged between nine months and two years.

Complete the introduction of Tax-Free Childcare, which will provide up to £2,000 of childcare support for each child and include childcare support in Universal Credit, refunding 85% of childcare costs so work pays for low earners.

Protect your privacy by updating data laws for the internet age with a Digital Bill of Rights.

Complete the roll-out of high speed broadband, to reach over 99% of the UK.

Build on the Green Deal with a national programme to raise the energy efficiency standards of all Britain's households and eradicate fuel poverty cutting people's council tax bills if they take part. All new homes will be Zero Carbon by 2016, and we will help tenants afford to stay warm, with new energy efficiency standards for private rented homes.

Help people to form new energy co-operatives so they can benefit from group discounts and cut their bills.

Help people cut their energy tariffs by forcing energy companies to allow customers to change to any cheaper supplier in just 24 hours.

Give people easier to understand information about their own personal energy use with a national roll-out of smart electricity and gas meters. We will guarantee that anyone on a prepayment meter can choose a smart meter instead by 2017.

Promote the 'double price tag' approach where the customer sees both the purchase price and the annual running costs for all cars and domestic appliances.

Protect the independence of the BBC, funded by the Licence Fee, as the cornerstone of public service broadcasting in this country, and protect the funding and editorial independence of Welsh language broadcasters.

Require the Sports Ground Safety Authority to prepare guidance under which domestic football clubs, working with their supporters, may introduce safe standing areas.

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

Return power from the stifling grip of Whitehall to the citizens and communities of our nation, so the next generation have the power to shape the society in which they live.

Fixed Term Parliaments, taking away the Prime Minister's power to call elections when it suits the governing party.

Reform party funding, electoral reform and an elected House of Lords.

New financial powers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, City Deals and Growth Deals to enable local people to drive local economic growth.

A new wave of devolution to the nations of the UK and 'Devolution on Demand' to transfer more power and control to local areas.

Reduce the powers of the Department of Communities and Local Government to interfere in democratically elected local government in England.

Remove the requirement to hold local referenda for Council Tax changes in England.

Build on the success of City Deals and Growth Deals, to devolve more power and resources to groups of local authorities and local enterprise partnerships, starting with back to work support.

Introduce 'Devolution on Demand', enabling even greater devolution of powers from Westminster to councils or groups of councils working together (for example to a Cornish Assembly).

Establish a commission to explore the scope for greater devolution of financial responsibility to English local authorities, and new devolved bodies in England.

Take big money out of politics by capping donations to political parties, at £10,000 per person each year.

Introduce votes at age 16 for elections and referenda, and make it easier to register to vote in schools and colleges.

Reform the House of Lords with a proper democratic mandate starting from the 2012 Bill.

Reform our voting systems for elections to local government and Westminster.

Make Parliament more family friendly, and establish a review to pave the way for MP job-sharing arrangements.

Strengthen the role of MPs in amending the budget and scrutinising government spending proposals.

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

Guarantee the NHS budget will rise by at least the rate of inflation every year. We will commission a Fundamental Review of NHS and social care finances in 2015, before the next Spending Review, in order to assess the pressures on NHS budgets and the scope for efficiencies. This will allow us to set multi-year budgets that will be sufficient to maintain and improve the current standard of NHS services, including keeping waiting times down.

We will always ensure access is based on need and not on ability to pay and that that NHS remains free at the point of delivery.

Reform the NHS payment system to encourage better integration of hospital and community care services and better preventative care for people with long term conditions. This would include more use of personal budgets for people who want them and better access to technology and services to help people get care closer to home.

Secure local agreement on and pooling of budgets between the NHS and social care.

Encourage GPs to work together to improve access and availability of appointments, including out of hours.

Incentivise GPs and other community clinicians to work in more disadvantaged areas.

Act to improve the mental health of children and young people promoting wellbeing throughout schools and ensuring that children and young people can access the services they need as soon as a mental health problem develops.

Deliver genuine parity of esteem between mental and physical health, including by improving access and waiting time standards for mental health services and establishing a world-leading mental health research fund to improve understanding of mental illness and treatments.

Do more to tackle the causes of ill health, including promoting healthy eating and exercise, making people aware of the dangers of smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs, and helping to improve mental health and well-being.

Invest in research and set ambitious goals to improve outcomes for the most serious life-threatening diseases like cancer and long-term conditions like dementia.

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

Set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of house building to 300,000 a year, and build to the Zero Carbon Standard.

Within the first year of the next Parliament, publish a long term plan which sets out how this goal will be achieved.

As part of this plan, publish proposals for at least ten new 'Garden Cities' in England, in areas where there is local support, providing tens of thousands of high quality new homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport.

Bring forward development on unwanted public sector sites through the Homes and Communities Agency.

Help social housing providers including councils to build more affordable homes to rent, with central government investment and local flexibility within the Housing Revenue Account.

To maximise total house building we will work with housing providers to design new models of affordable housing, to sit alongside the traditional social rented sector, including models that offer a path to ownership for lower income working families.

Require local authorities in England to allocate land to meet 15 years' housing need in their local plans, and work with local authorities to pilot techniques for capturing the increase in land value from the granting of planning permission.

Tackle overcrowding with a new system to incentivise social landlords to reduce the number of tenants under-occupying their homes, freeing up larger properties for larger families. We will reform the policy to remove the spare room subsidy. The subsidy will continue to be removed for new tenants in social housing but existing social tenants will not be subject to any housing benefit deduction until they have received a reasonable offer of alternative social rented accommodation with the correct number of bedrooms.

We will ensure that tenants who need an extra bedroom for genuine medical reasons or whose homes are substantially adapted do not have their housing benefit reduced.

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

Restore full entry and exit checks at our borders, to rebuild confidence in immigration control, and allow targeting of resources at those who over-stay their visas.

Remove students from our immigration targets given their temporary status, while taking tough action against any educational institution which allows abuse of the student route into the UK.

Double the number of inspections on employers to ensure all statutory employment legislation is being respected.

Require all new claimants for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) to have their English language skills assessed, with JSA then being conditional on attending English language courses for those whose English is poor.

Encourage schools with high numbers of children with English as a second language to host English lessons for parents.

Work in the EU to tighten up benefit rules for migrants, including reducing, and ultimately abolishing, payment of child benefit for children who are not resident in the UK.

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

Set out 10-year rolling capital investment plans.

Develop a comprehensive plan to electrify the overwhelming majority of the UK rail network, reopen smaller stations, restore twin-track lines to major routes and proceed with HS2, as the first stage of a high-speed rail network to Scotland.

Invest in major transport improvements and infrastructure. We will:

Deliver the Transport for the North strategy to promote growth, innovation and prosperity across northern England.

Develop more modern, resilient links to and within the South West peninsula to help develop and diversify the regional economy

Complete East-West rail, connecting up Oxford and Cambridge and catalysing major new housing development.

Ensure London’s transport infrastructure is improved to withstand the pressure of population and economic growth.

Work to encourage further private sector investment in rail freight terminals and rail-connected distribution parks. We will set a clear objective to shift more freight from road to rail and change planning law to ensure new developments provide good freight access to retail, manufacturing and warehouse facilities.

Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.

Ensure new rail franchises include a stronger focus on customers, including requirements to integrate more effectively with other modes of transport and a programme of investment in new stations, lines and station facilities. We will continue the Access for All programme, improving disabled access to public transport.

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

Introduce a 1% cap on the uprating of working-age benefits until the budget is balanced in 2017/18, after which they will rise with inflation once again. Disability and parental leave benefits will be exempt from this temporary cap.

Encourage landlords to lower their rent by paying them Housing Benefit directly, with tenants’ consent, in return for a fixed reduction. Our plans for a major expansion of house building and new ‘family friendly’ tenancies, which limit annual rent increases, will also help reduce upward pressure on rents. We will review the way the Shared Accommodation Rate in Local Housing Allowance is set, and review the Broad Rental Market Areas to ensure they fit with realistic travel patterns.

Improve links between Jobcentres and Work Programme providers and the local NHS to ensure all those in receipt of health-related benefits are getting the care and support to which they are entitled. In particular, as we expand access to talking therapies we expect many more people to recover and be able to seek work again.

Work with Local Authorities to tackle fraud and error in a more coordinated way, in particular on Housing Benefit.

Help everyone in work on a low wage step up the career ladder and increase their hours, reducing their need for benefits, with tailored in-work careers and job search advice.

Withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment and free TV Licence from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate (40%). We will retain the free bus pass for all pensioners.

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

Given an £800 tax cut to low and middle income earners by letting you earn £10,500 tax free.

Raise the personal allowance to at least £12,500, cutting your taxes by an extra £400.

Consider, as a next step, and once the personal allowance rise is delivered, raising the employee national insurance threshold to the income tax threshold, as resources allow, while protecting low earners' ability to accrue pension entitlements.

Encourage employers to provide more flexible working, particularly for parents and carers, expanding shared parental leave with a 'use-it-or-lose-it' month for fathers to encourage them to take time off with young children.

Use transparency to drive fair pay: require companies with over 250 employees to publish information on gender pay differences, declare the number of people they employ on less than the living wage, and provide information comparing the top and median pay levels of their staff. We will also require companies to consult employees on executive pay as recommended by the High Pay Commission.

Ask the Low Pay Commission to look at ways of raising the National Minimum Wage, without damaging employment opportunities, and improve enforcement action.

Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a fair Living Wage, working with stakeholders such as the Living Wage Foundation. We will ensure this Living Wage is paid by all central government departments and executive agencies from April 2016 onwards, and encourage other public sector bodies including local authorities to do likewise.

Clamp down on any abusive practices in relation to zero hours contracts.

Continue the drive for diversity in business leadership and encourage women entrepreneurs.

Encourage employers to provide more flexible working, expanding Shared Parental Leave with an additional ‘use it or lose it’ month to encourage fathers to take time off with young children. While changes to parental leave should be introduced slowly to give business time to adjust, our ambition is to see Paternity and Shared Parental Leave become a ‘day one’ right.

Ensure swift implementation of the new rules requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish details of the different pay levels of men and women in their organisation. We will build on this platform and, by 2020, extend transparency requirements to include publishing the number of people paid less than the Living Wage and the ratio between top and median pay. We will also consult on requirements for companies to conduct and publish a full equality pay review, and to consult staff on executive pay.

Ask the Low Pay Commission to look at ways of raising the National Minimum Wage, without damaging employment opportunities. We will improve enforcement action and clamp down on abuses by employers seeking to avoid paying the minimum wage by reviewing practices such as unpaid internships.

Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a fair Living Wage across all sectors. We will pay this Living Wage in all central government departments and their agencies from April 2016, and encourage other public sector employers to do likewise.

Improve the enforcement of employment rights, reviewing Employment Tribunal fees to ensure they are not a barrier. We will ensure employers cannot avoid giving their staff rights or paying the minimum wage by wrongly classifying them as workers or self-employed.

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

Work with our partners in the EU, NATO, the UN and the Commonwealth to tackle security challenges and seek peaceful solutions to conflicts worldwide.

Act globally to tackle the threats of climate change and environmental degradation.

Argue for a 50% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while ensuring that the UK meets its own commitments and so can play a leadership role within Europe and internationally on efforts to combat climate change.

Work to secure agreement on a global climate treaty at the 2015 UN Climate Conference.

Argue for EU and global commitments to zero net deforestation, globally, by 2020 and provide greater resources for international environmental cooperation.

Ensure that UK and EU development aid, free trade and investment agreements support environmentally sustainable investment.

Maintain our commitment to spend 0.7% of UK Gross National Income on international aid and enshrine this in law. We will adhere to the OECD's definition of what activities count as Official Development Assistance.

Respond generously to humanitarian crises wherever they may occur.

Work to ensure the post-2015 development goals fully take into account the need to leave no one behind and to safeguard the sustainability of the planet.

Continue to support free media and a free and open internet around the world, championing the free flow of information.

Lead international action to ensure global companies pay fair taxes in the developing countries in which they operate.

Invest to eliminate within a generation preventable diseases such as TB, HIV and malaria; ensure that people do not suffer discrimination or disadvantage because of gender, sexual orientation, disability or ethnic origin, including pursuing an International Gender Equality Strategy, including recognition of women's rights to education and freedom from enforced marriage, and an international LGBT strategy; and aim to end female genital mutilation worldwide within a generation.

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

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