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Lib Dem Manifesto Lies

Please read through the summary of quotes below from the Lib Dem manifesto which have now been exposed as untrue by UNISON North West.

For your reference you can also download a copy of the manifesto by clicking on the following link.

Page 4

“Doesn’t it make you angry that ….the poorest are the ones who pay the biggest chunk of their income in tax?”

The Lib Dems have supported a rise in VAT to 20%. VAT is a regressive tax, which hits the poorest harder as a proportion of their income. Not only this but the Lib Dems actively warned people during the election campaign of a Tory VAT bombshell, yet now they support it!

As an alternative, why not tax the rich? £14.9billion could be raised every year by using minimum tax rates to stop relief being used to disproportionately subsidise incomes above £100,000.

Page 5

“I was brought up to believe that the way things are is not the way they have to be. I was brought up to believe that you should fight for what you believe in, and fight for change.”

Nick Clegg said this in the Lib Dem manifesto. UNISON members will fight for what they believe in and UNISON believes spending cuts are not inevitable. Spending cuts are an ideological choice.

This is no time for cuts – we need to invest in jobs and services that will help out economy recover from recession and build a fairer society. We can afford the services we need – if we cut real waste and make the banks, big corporations and the super rich pay a fairer share in tax.

“Only the Liberal Democrats will invest in our schools…”

The ConDem coalition has recently cancelled a massive school building programme called Building Schools for the Future. Now schools which were due to be renovated, repaired or rebuilt will continue to decay with many of these schools already in a state of disrepair. A recent survey showed that more than a quarter of teachers surveyed said that their schools were not an effective learning environment.

Although the Building Schools for the Future programme wasn’t perfect there is an alternative to letting children attend school in buildings that are falling apart. Cancelling the replacement of the Trident nuclear submarines would save more than enough money to rebuild schools.

Also it is estimated that an additional 100,000 education staff are needed by 2017 to ensure we have the skilled workforce our economy needs.

“And Only the Liberal democrats will sort out our rotten political system once and for all”

Just three weeks into the ConDem coalition David Laws, who was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was forced to resign after it was exposed that he had fiddled £40,000 in his expenses.

Page 8

“We believe the future must be built on a different foundation: fairness.”

“Our core aim is to hard-wire fairness back into national life.”

Although the government claims that the emergency budget is fair, the combined effect of changes to benefits and service cuts is hitting the poorest hardest, especially low paid women workers and their families. The overall impact of cuts in services and job losses hits the poorest 10% of households around seven times harder than the richest 10% of households.

Significant sums of money could be raised without affecting the incomes of the majority if the government made sure the financial sector and super-rich, who caused the financial crisis, paid a fairer share.

Corporation tax has been cut by 4%, which translates as a yearly handout of £2.7billion to businesses, probably more. Tax on small business will be cut costing £1.4billion and national insurance for employers will be cut costing almost £4billion. Capital gains tax will rise but will only raise an extra £1billion and the bank levy will only bring in £2.5billion.

There is an alternative a proper Robin Hood tax on banks could raise £50billion a year.

VAT will rise to 20% that hits the poorest the hardest as a proportion of their income. 600,000 public sector workers will lose their jobs while those that remain suffer a two-year real terms pay cut. As well as cutting the services that the poor and the most vulnerable in society need the budget also slashes benefits and welfare payments, which these groups rely on. This is an attack on the public sector and the most vulnerable in society which overall will hit the poorest 10% of households seven times harder than the richest 10%. Fair?

Taxing people who earn over £100,000 at 50% would raise £4.7billion and minimum tax rates to stop relief being used to disproportionately subsidise incomes over £100,000 would raise £14.9billion. No one starves on £100,000 a year salary. £5billion could be raised every year by introducing an Empty Property Tax. £10billion could be raised each year by reforming tax havens and residence rules to reduce tax avoidance by big business and “non-dom” residents. It’s estimated that up to £120billion a year could be raised by closing the tax gap caused by tax avoidance & evasion. There is an alternative.

Page 11

“If you want real change, choose the Liberal Democrats.”

What have the Lib Dems managed to change?

Page 14

“We can…protect the services people rely on the most…”

The ConDem coalition immediately announced £6.2billion worth of cuts and then followed this up on 22nd June 2010 with the most draconian and regressive budget for decades. Government departments have been asked to cut their budgets by 25%, although some have been asked to produce plans for cuts of 40%. How can cutting budgets protect services?

There is an alternative and let’s remember that the financial crisis and recession were not caused by excessive public spending.

Page 15

“If spending is cut too soon, it would undermine the much-needed recovery and cost jobs.”

Within a few weeks of the election Tory Chancellor George Osborne announced £6.2billion worth of spending cuts backed by the LibDems. Then on the 22nd June 2010 the most regressive budget in decades was announced which declared war on public services, again the Lib Dems supported this. Estimates suggest this will cost 600,000 jobs in the public sector.

Throwing innocent public sector workers on the dole does not save money. It will make the deficit worse as making someone redundant creates an additional £16,000 in costs to the government, in addition to undermining morale and productivity.

Page 16

“Introducing a Banking Levy so that banks pay for the financial support they have received…”

The ConDem coalition government has introduced a banking levy that they expect will raise £2.5billion. This may seem like a lot of money but it is nothing compared to the obscene profits and obscene bonuses. The banks will also benefit from a reduction in corporation tax from 28% to 24%.

A proper Robin Hood Tax on the banks could raise £30-£50billion which could be invested in our public services. Let us not forget that the greed of these banks and financial institutions caused the financial crisis. Surely with the Lib Dems pledging “fairness” in their manifesto they would make the banks pay. That would be fair!

Page 17

“Saying no to the like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, which could cost £100billion.”

According to the ConDem coalition agreement; “The Government will be committed to the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives.” Sounds like Trident is going ahead then.

£76billion could be saved over 40 years by cancelling Trident. Surely this money is better spent on public services rather than weapons of mass destruction?

Page 21

“To boost the economy and create jobs for those who need them…”

The cuts announced by the ConDem coalition will result in around 600,000 public sector workers losing their jobs and it is likely that another 600,000 will lose their jobs in the private sector.

Cutting public spending does not create jobs. Making people redundant on average adds £16,000 in costs to the government. 92% of the cost of employing a public service worker is recouped by the state through increased tax revenues and reduced benefit payments.

“..we will break up the banks..”

Other than a minor levy on the banks there has been no action despite the government part owning some of them. Why should hard working public sector workers and local communities pay for the recession when the bankers who caused the recession are still paying themselves million pound bonuses?

Page 33

“Liberal Democrats believe in investing in and improving the quality of our public services. They are the cornerstone of a fair society, opening up opportunities and providing support and help when needed.”

The ConDem coalition has announced cuts in government departmental budgets of 25% although some departments have been asked to draw up plans for cuts of 40%. Investing is not cutting money and cutting money certainly does not improve services. If the Lib Dems believe this statement then why are they supporting regressive cuts?

“We will help the NHS work better…”

Supporting Tory plans to essentially break up and privatise the NHS is not helping the NHS work better. The ConDem coalition has released plans, which will plunge the NHS into chaos and tie it up in knots for years to come. To work more efficiently the NHS needs stability. Handing £80billion worth of NHS budget over to GP’s to manage is a huge irresponsible risk, which will see private, profit hungry companies brought in to manage budgets. How will any of this improve patient care? How will those managing the budgets be held to account?

UNISON agrees that real waste should be cut such as saving £500million by adopting measures to improve the health and well being of NHS staff, thereby reducing sickness absence. £1billion could be saved by eradicating healthcare acquired infections from the NHS – the extra cleaners would cost half this. And billions more could be saved by reducing the use of expensive agency staff and by replacing PFI schemes with conventional public procurement.

Page 39

“Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree…. …the change is affordable even in these difficult times…”

The ConDem government has raised the cap on tuition fees to £9000. This will see already high student debt levels spiral out of control and will discourage those from less well off backgrounds from attending university at all. This is the Lib Dems showing their true colours and exposes them as liars as this was a key pledge on which they fought the general election.

Page 40

“We are proud of the NHS – it’s built on the basic British principle of fairness.”

So why support Tory plans to privatise it? This will lead to a two-tier health service based on your ability to pay for treatment. This is not fair.

Page 43

“We all need to be assured that, if we become unwell, the care we get will be of good quality. Most of all, we need to be confident that our safety comes first, and that the treatment we get doesn’t put us in more danger.”

The Lib Dems are supporting plans to privatise the NHS. How can safety come first when private companies’ priority is profit? How can safety come first when GP’s are being asked to manage budgets instead of treating patients? How can safety come first when staff are being reorganised and their jobs under threat?

Page 46

“Ensure that the BBC remains strong, free from interference and securely funded…”

The ConDem coalition have frozen the licence fee and added additional costs to the BBC such as the BBC world service (which was previously funded by the Foreign Office). This is essentially a cut in funding for the BBC that will favour the likes of Rupert Murdoch and other big business interests.

Page 50

“Maintain the commitment to end child poverty in the UK by 2020.”

The ConDem coalition have supported a budget that reduces child benefit, abolishes child trust funds and cuts child tax credits. Also all benefits will now rise in line with the lower measure of inflation CPI rather than RPI.

Public spending is needed to tackle deprivation and disadvantage. Cutting child related benefits will not help end child poverty and neither will cutting the services that families and children rely on.

Page 57

“We will strive for global nuclear disarmament, showing leadership by committing not to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system on a like-for-like basis.”

According to the ConDem coalition agreement; “The Government will be committed to the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives.” Sounds like Trident is going ahead then.

£76billion could be saved over 40 years by cancelling Trident. Surely this money is better spent on public services rather than weapons of mass destruction?

“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this generation. Liberal Democrats are unwavering in our commitment: runaway climate change must be stopped, and politicians must follow the science in order to make that happen”.

The ConDem coalition is to stop funding the Sustainable Development Commission, which is the government’s independent environmental watchdog and advisory body. The SDC only has a budget of £3million a year yet it saves the government £60-70million every year.

So cutting the SDC not only breaks promises on being green but it also will cost the government more money in the long run.

Page 62

“Ban banks from facilitating the transfer of funds obtained by corruption. We will crack down on tax havens which allow individuals and corporations to avoid paying taxes to developing countries.”

There was nothing in the ConDem budget about cracking down on tax havens or tax avoidance or tax evasion.

Tax evasion and tax avoidance could cost the UK up to £120billion a year in uncollected taxes. There has been some discussion on the issue in parliament but no firm measures to tackle the issue have been proposed. In fact tax offices are closing!

£10billion a year could be raised every year by reforming tax havens and residence rules to reduce tax avoidance by corporations and “non-dom” individuals.

Page 71

“Liberal Democrats will put thousands more police on the beat…”

The ConDem coalition has proposed budget cuts, which, at the worst, could see a loss of 60,000 policing jobs by 2015 (according to a report by Tim Brain a former chief constable and Association of Chief Police Officers member). This would see crime soar across the country. Before the election a leading Lib Dem, Chris Huhne, said, “more police on the beat…is the only way to create safer streets”.

Page 72

“Pay for 3,000 more police on the beat, affordable because we are cutting other spending, such as scrapping pointless ID cards.”

The ConDem coalition has proposed budget cuts, which, at the worst, could see a loss of 60,000 policing jobs by 2015 (according to a report by Tim Brain a former chief constable and Association of Chief Police Officers member). This would see crime soar across the country. Before the election a leading Lib Dem, Chris Huhne, said, “more police on the beat…is the only way to create safer streets”.

Page 97

“It is our working assumption that we will start to reduce the deficit from 2011-12 onwards.”

Just weeks after the election the Con-Dem coalition announced cuts totalling £6.2billion. Then on 22nd June 2010 the Con-Dem coalition declared all out war on public services with the most draconian and regressive budget in decades. According to Vince Cable who was then the Lib Dem economic spokesperson; “It would be a foolish error to slash spending now and risk pushing the economy back into recession” (LD Press Release 10/02/10).

But there is an alternative to spending cuts. Research shows that for every pound spent on local public services, 64 pence is re-spent in local economies, supporting jobs and businesses.

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