Over the coming weeks ADS will be summarising the manifestos of the UK’s major political parties, pulling out some of the key policies which are relevant to ADS and our members. Yesterday evening the Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson launched her party’s manifesto for the 2019 General Election. The key pledge made by the Lib Dems in the election has been known for some time, if they form a majority government, they will unilaterally revoke Article 50 and the UK will remain in the EU. However, this manifesto delves into the other policy promises the Lib Dems hope to enact after the election.

Climate Change

Tackling climate change is a big theme throughout the manifesto. The Lib Dems have pledged that if they win the General Election, they will introduce a target for the UK to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the Conservatives.

They also announced an eye-catching policy to tax frequent fliers to discourage excessive flying and reduce emissions. The party’s election manifesto proposes to reform Air Passenger Duty so that people who travel abroad frequently pay more, while holidaymakers would pass less. They also pledge to introduce a zero-carbon fuels blending requirement for domestic flights and oppose any new runways in the UK.

Defence issues

In relation to defence policies the Lib Dems announced that they are committed to the NATO two per cent of GDP target on defence spending. The party is also committed to maintaining a minimum at-sea nuclear deterrent and the current Dreadnought programme.

A new policy announced by the party was plans to address the skills shortages in the armed forces by recruiting more STEM graduates to be armed forces engineers. To incentivise this the Liberal Democrats are offering those how take up the scheme ‘golden handshakes’ of up to £10,000.

Other policies

Other key policy announcements in the manifesto relevant to ADS and its members include a commitment to Industrial Strategy which the Lib Dems launched whilst in the Coalition Government.
They also announced a plan to roll back the planned corporation tax cuts and revert the rate to 20 per cent. On R&D the party announced it plans to increase national spending on research and development up to three percent of GDP. They will publish a roadmap to achieve this ambition by the earliest date possible, via an interim target of 2.4 per cent of GDP by no later than 2027.

The manifesto holds within it a wide variety of policy pledges that will, of course, be covered more throughout the general election campaign. You can find a two-page summary of the manifesto below, read about ADS’ election priorities here and access the full document on the Liberal Democrat website here.

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