Press release -
Liberal Democratic Party: Special Conference passes 'Building a fairer Britain in government'
Conference notes the outcome of the general election held on 6 May 2010, in which no party secured a majority of seats in the House of Commons.
Conference reaffirms the long-standing desire of the Liberal Democrats to see parties working together in partnership to tackle the serious economic, environmental and social problems facing the United Kingdom and its international partners, and to implement far-reaching reforms to the British political system.
Conference notes that negotiations with the Labour party were not fruitful, despite the best endeavours and good faith of the Liberal Democrat negotiating team, because many in the Labour Party did not wish to participate in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats or to continue in government; and that therefore it was not possible to form a stable administration with the Labour Party.
Conference further notes that a stable coalition with the Conservatives with a clear partnership agreement has significant advantages for the country, for the implementation of progressive policies and for the creation of a more cooperative style of politics compared to the remaining option of a minority Conservative administration.
Conference also notes the constructive nature of the coalition negotiations with the Conservative Party, and applauds the efforts of the Liberal Democrat negotiating team, which together have produced a coalition agreement which makes possible the implementation in government of key Liberal Democrat manifesto commitments, including:
1. Fair taxes that put money back into your pocket, including an increase in the personal allowance for income tax, reforms to capital gains tax and a switch from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty for aviation tax.
2. A fair chance for every child, including additional resources for a pupil premium for disadvantaged pupils and greater freedom for schools over the curriculum.
3. A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener, including action to reduce the structural deficit while protecting those on low incomes, the introduction of a banking levy, the establishment of a commission to reform the banking system, the creation of a green investment bank and measures to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
4. A fair deal by cleaning up politics, including a freedom bill to restore civil liberties, the scrapping of ID cards, the establishment of fixed-term parliaments, a referendum bill on electoral reform, the creation of a power of recall of MPs and the establishment of a House of Lords elected by proportional representation.
Conference further believes that the coalition agreement represents the best chance to create a stable government that can address the serious economic challenges facing the country in a fair and sustainable manner.
Conference recognises that party members in government and in parliament will be bound by the usual conventions and by the terms of this agreement but declares that the Liberal Democrats remain an independent political party and that nothing in this agreement prevents the party from developing new policy through it’s democratic processes.
Conference therefore endorses the agreement for a coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party.
Conference calls for Liberal Democrats to work constructively in government to ensure that the net income and wealth inequality gap is reduced significantly over the course of this parliament.
Conference notes that many Liberal Democrat MPs signed the NUS ‘vote for students’ pledge against any real terms rise in the tuition fee cap. Conference calls upon Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs to ensure that on any decision made on Lord Browne’s report on higher education funding, they above all else take into account the impact on student debt. Conference affirms the Liberal Democrat objective of scrapping tuition fees.
Conference urges Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs to take all possible steps to ensure the repeal of those sections of the Digital Economy Act 2010 which are inconsistent with policy motion Freedom, Creativity and the Internet as passed at Spring Conference 2010.
Conference also calls on Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs, in line with the Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment to protect the Human Rights Act 1998, to oppose moves by any party or individual towards repeal of this act.
Conference reaffirms the party’s long-standing and unparalleled commitment to matters relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality.
Conference calls on Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs to seek to include proportional representation for local government elections in England and Wales as apart of the political reform programme of the coalition government.
Conference regrets that it proved impossible to agree the introduction of a system of proportional representation for elections to the House of Commons, and reaffirms the party’s long-standing commitment to the introduction of such a system.
- Politics, general
- british political system