Use Your Vote to Build a Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society

Liberal Democrats in Macclesfield are calling on voters to use their vote to keep the Government in the centre ground to ensure Economic Recovery continues and a Fairer Society is built.

On Thursday, no one party will win a majority. That means we are facing some important choices.

There could be a Labour/SNP Government which is likely to lurch to the left and put our Economic Recovery in jeopardy. There could be a BLUKIP Government, led by David Cameron, in danger of lurching to the right under the influence of UKIP, the DUP and the Right of the Conservatives.

11Or there is a continuation of a Coalition government anchored in the centre ground by the Liberal Democrats. It could be a Coalition in which either Labour of the Conservatives serve. One of those parties will provide the Prime Minister, but neither are strong enough to win a majority on their own.

It is the Liberal Democrats who can provide the Economic Stability to a Labour Coalition to ensure the recovery continues. It is the Liberal Democrats who can build the Fairer Society which the Conservatives on their own would never be able to build.

The Economic Recovery is fragile. That’s why Britain would be taking an enormous risk if we voted in a Government that could lurch to the extremes of left or right.

Liberal Democrats in Government have demonstrated we can take the tough decisions needed to get the Economy back on track and the deficit down. People on low and middle incomes have had an income tax cut of over £800 ONLY because the Lib Dems have been in Government.

Employment is at record levels and joblessness is continuing to fall because Lib Dems, by entering Coalition Government, have created the stability needed to clear up the mess left by Labour.

Coalition Government – with parties working together in the national interest – has been a success, but there is still much to do. Any experiment that sees Government lurching to the extremes would put the sacrifices and gains of the last few years at risk.That’s why we need as large a group of Lib Dem MPs as possible. That’s why I urge everyone in Macclesfield to vote for me to be their new MP.

 

Keeping Britain on the Green Track

Liberal Democrats have ensured the Coalition has been the greenest Government so far in Britain. Lib Dem ministers have:

Secured £37bn investment in renewable electricity;

Established the world’s first Green Investment Bank;

Led Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target;

Ensured more than 1 million trees have been planted.

windfarmOn the front page of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto we have said that in the next Parliament, if we are in Government, we will pass the Five Green Laws. These will stimulate more green growth, improve greener transport options, create more energy efficient homes, improve our air quality, reduce household waste and create a zero-carbon Britain within a generation.

Liberal Democrat Energy & Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey said, “In Government we have a proud record of delivery – from nearly tripling electricity from renewables, to making more than 1 million homes warmer and cheaper to heat and securing an ambitious EU-wide agreement on tackling climate change.

We’ve delivered in the face of almost daily battles with the Tories on everything from onshore wind to keeping climate change in the geography curriculum.”

Neil Christian, Lib Dem candidate for Macclesfield said, “By putting our plan for five new Green Laws on the front of our manifesto we’ve shown our intent to go further and faster if we’re in the next Government.

“Having Lib Dems in Government will insure our environment against the risk of sharp lurches to the left or right that would result in our green delivery coming to a grinding halt.”

Lib Dems will introduce Five Green Laws: a Zero Carbon Bill to end Britain’s adverse impact on climate change by 2050; a Zero Waste Bill to tackle rubbish tipping and disposal; a Green Homes Bill to insulate 10 million homes by2025; a Nature Bill to give stronger protectio to natural habitats and a Green Transport Bill to make the way we travel cleaner and greener.

 

Opportunity For All at the Heart of the Manifesto

The Liberal Democrat Manifesto was published on 15th April. It is a

detailed and credible plan to build both a Stronger Economy and a

Fairer Society. The key priorities are spelt out on the front page:

Prosperity for all: Balance the budget fairly and invest to build a

high-skill, low-carbon economy

Opportunity for every child: Guarantee education funding from

nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every class.

Fair taxes: Cut your taxes by an additional £400 by raising the

Personal Allowance to £12,500.

Quality Healthcare for all: Invest £8bn more per year to improve

our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health.

Our environment protected: Protect nature and fight climate change with five green laws.

11The key theme of the Manifesto is Opportunity For All. We will build a Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society so that everyone has the opportunity to prosper:

Opportunity for Children: with investment in education from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every classroom.

Opportunity for Young People: with more apprenticeships, discounted bus travel, a massive increase in house building and support to rent or own their own home through the innovative Help to Rent and Rent to Own schemes.

Opportunity for Parents: with more free childcare and more paternity leave for fathers.

Opportunity for Workers: with a further £400 tax cut for millions of working people.

Opportunity for Older People: with the pensions triple lock written into law and the extra £8bn a year the NHS needs by 2020 to cope with the pressures of an ageing population.

Opportunity for the Next Generation: with the budget balanced and our environment protected so that our children and grandchildren are not left to pay for the mistakes of this one.

Speaking at the launch, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: 12

This manifesto is a blueprint for a stronger economy and a fairer society. This manifesto is a plan to finish the job of balancing the books, and to do so fairly by protecting our schools, hospitals and public services.

This manifesto is an insurance policy against a government lurching off to the extremes. At its heart is one word that is absolutely central to what Liberal Democrats believe: opportunity. No matter who you are, where you were born, what sexuality or religion you are or what colour your skin is, you should have the same opportunity to get on in life.”

 

 

My plan for Macclesfield

Being the smaller party in the first coalition since 1945 and governing a country recovering from the worst recession since 1929 hasn’t been easy for the Lib Dems. I am proud that in government we managed to cut income tax for low and middle earners, protect Schools and NHS budgets, create 2 million apprenticeships and from 2017 deliver the biggest rise in the state pension. The Lib Dems have focussed on building a strong and diverse economy and a fairer society; principles I would wish to continue if elected as your Member of Parliament.

My priorities for Macclesfield will be to promote development and infrastructure projects whilst protecting the green belt and environment. I want to see the creation of more apprenticeships and jobs that will provide the opportunities for young people and families to settle and be secure in the Constituency for years to come. Campaigning for the extension of rural broadband will not only help create jobs but also improve people’s quality of life in rural communities.

The constituents of Macclesfield need a Member of Parliament who will listen, understand their concerns and fight for them at Westminster. I believe I have the experience and ability to take on this responsible job and deliver for the constituents of Macclesfield .

 

The 2015 Manifesto is revealed

The Lib Dems have released the front page of the 2015 General Election manifest, detailing 5 key themes to transform the UK.

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Stronger Economy:

  • Creating a stronger economy is about more than just clearing the deficit. That’s why Liberal Democrats will balance the budget fairly and invest in building a high skill low carbon economy.
  • To build a strong, green, innovative economy we need to invest in upgrading our national infrastructure and producing the clean renewable energy that will power our future prosperity.

Fair Taxes:

  • Creating a fairer society by cutting income tax by an additional £400 by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500.

Quality Healthcare for All:

  • Creating a fairer society by properly funding our world class public services by investing in them as the economy grows. This means making sure the NHS has the extra £8bn a year it needs by 2020.
  • Ending the stigma around mental health and putting it on equal footing with physical is vital to building a fairer society.

Opportunity for Every Child:

  • Protecting the education budget from cradle to college, so that every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, from nursery school to higher education.
  • Giving children the best start in life by making sure there is a qualified teacher in every class.

Our Environment Protected:

  • Protecting the environment so that future generations are not left paying for the mistakes of the generations before them. Fighting climate change with five Green Laws.

 

A record of achievement in Government

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As we approach the General Election on 7th May, we can take stock of the past five years in which the Liberal Democrats have been in Government.

  • Having inherited from Labour an economy that was in crisis, Lib Dems have created the stable conditions that allowed the deficit to be halved and unemployment to fall by over half a million.
  • Income tax has been cut by £800 a year for low and middle income earners whilst wealth taxes have been raised for the richest.
  • Lib Dems have overseen the biggest rise in the state pension and from 2017, there will be a single state pension of £144 a week, again, thanks to the Lib Dems in Government.
  • We have protected school budgets from cuts and provided free school meals for infant aged children.
  • We brought in the Pupil Premium – £2 billion extra to schools that take kids from the poorest households, ensuring all children get the best start in life.
  • And to ensure the economy has the skills needed to prosper, we have created 2 million apprenticeships for young people.

There are still big issues to tackle: the deficit is coming down but is not yet gone; unemployment is dropping rapidly but needs to drop further; income tax has been cut for most people but further tax cuts are needed to take people on low income out of tax altogether.

You can’t trust Labour or Conservative only Governments to ensure there is a stronger economy, a fairer society and opportunity for all. For that, we need to have a strong group of Lib Dem MPs elected in May 2015.

Liberal Democrats have proved over the past 5 years they can take the tough decisions needed to clear up Labour’s mess. We need the chance to finnish  the job.

 

A balanced approach to Tax and Spend

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Liberal Democrats in Macclesfield have welcomed plans announced by our Party Leader Nick Clegg to cut the deficit without putting an unfair burden on the poorest.

Whilst the Conservatives have announced that they want to balance the nation’s books entirely by cuts to benefits of the working age poor, Liberal Democrats say they will increase taxes on the wealthiest and cut tax avoidance. Something I have been calling for throughout this Parliament.

I know we have all had to make sacrifices over the past few years to clear up the financial mess left by Labour. Since the Coalition was formed, we have had to cut spending on benefits and some services, though we have protected schools and the NHS.

But Lib Dems in Government have also increased taxes on the wealthiest whilst cutting income tax for people on low and middle incomes. This would not have happened if the Conservatives had won a majority at the last General Election and formed a single party Government.

Now the Conservatives have announced that if they win the election, they will complete the job of balancing the books entirely on the backs of the working age poor. They have revealed their true approach to austerity and public services.

Meanwhile Labour appear to have learnt nothing over the past five years. They opposed every cut that needed to be made. If they form a single party Government after the election, they will put back the date when the books are balanced, leaving Britain in more unnecessary debt.

Liberal Democrats have announced that we will take a fairer, balanced approach to wiping out the deficit. There will need to be further cuts, including £4 billion on benefits, but we will be raising £6 billion by tackling tax avoidance and £8 billion in increased taxes on the wealthiest and big business.

Our plan means that in the last year of the next parliament, we will cut £38bn less than the Conservatives, and we will have borrowed £70bn less than Labour.

By 2017/18, the books should be balanced and under the Liberal Democrats we will be able to invest again in public services.