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Election 2019: what would the Liberal Democrats’ plans mean for your money?

Discover the Lib Dems' pledges on tax, housing, pensions, banking and more

The Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto ahead of the 2019 general election, which will be held on 12 December.

The manifesto is called Stop Brexit Build a Bright Future and sets out policies the party plans to bring in should it win the election.

Here’s an at-a-glance look at the personal finance pledges made by the Lib Dems, from tax changes to housebuilding programmes.

We’ll also be covering Labour, Conservatives and SNP in separate stories, which we’ll publish once the manifestos are out. For more information on what smaller parties have planned head here


Lib Dems on tax

  • Raise £7bn a year by putting 1p on income tax in England, with the proceeds to be ring-fenced for spending on the NHS and social care.
  • Restore corporation tax to 20% and take action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance by international tech giants and large monopolies.
  • Abolish the separate capital gains tax-free allowance and instead taxing capital gains and salaries through one single allowance.
  • Scrap the marriage allowance.
  • Allow councils to increase council tax by up to 500% if properties are bought as second homes, and increase a stamp duty surcharge on overseas residents buying homes.
  • Abolish the bedroom tax and introduce incentives for homeowners to downsize.

Find out more: use the Which? tax guides and calculators to find out your current position

Lib Dems on housing

Building new homes

  • Build 300,000 new homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes.
  • All new homes to be built to zero-carbon standard by 2021.
  • Ensure all new homes built from 2022 have full connectivity to ultra-fast broadband and are compatible with smart technologies.

Renting

  • Increase energy-efficiency standards on rented homes.
  • Introduce a new ‘Help to Rent’ scheme to provide government-backed deposit loans for first-time renters under 30.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more, locked to an inflation-linked annual rent increase.
  • Introduce mandatory licensing for landlords.

Social housing

  • Devolve full control of Right to Buy to local councils.
  • Increase housing allowance in line with average rents.
  • Introduce a ‘Rent to Own’ model for social housing, giving tenants an increasing stake in a property until they own it outright after 30 years.

Find out more: use our first-time buyer guides to discover how to get onto the property ladder

Lib Dems on jobs and pay

  • Offer every individual a ‘Skills Wallet’ of £10,000 to spend on education and training. £4,000 to be paid at age 25, £3,000 at age 40 and £3,000 at age 55.
  • Consult on how to set a ‘genuine’ living wage across all sectors.
  • Review the tax and national insurance status of workers to ensure self-employed/zero-hour contract workers are given fair treatment.
  • Bring in a 20% higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts.
  • Introduce reforms to Universal Credit to offer greater support to self-employed people.
  • Introduce ‘free, high-quality childcare’ for children of working parents from nine months old.

Lib Dems on household bills

  • Create an emergency programme to insulate all of Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.
  • Reform the Renewable Heat Incentive and require the installation of heat pumps in homes off the gas grid.

Lib Dems on pensions and investments

  • Retain the triple lock on the basic state pension.
  • Ensure women born in the 1950s don’t lose out on state pension payments.
  • Address inequalities in pensions law for people in same-sex relationships.
  • Radically overhaul the bereavement allowance to offer greater support to widows and widowers.

Lib Dems on social care

  • Raise £7bn a year by putting 1p on income tax in England, to be ring-fenced for spending on the NHS and social care.
  • Bring in a system to transform mental health care by treating it with the same urgency as physical health.
  • Reform the Health and Social Care Act to make the NHS work in a ‘more efficient and joined-up’ way.

Lib Dems on consumer rights and data

  • Introduce a code of ethics to ensure the use of data and artificial intelligence is unbiased, transparent and accurate.
  • Develop a way of helping the public share the profits made by tech companies who use their data.
  • Require all digital technology courses to include teaching about data ethics.
  • Create a new online crime agency to tackle illegal content and activity online.

Lib Dems on banking

  • Protect Bank of England independence and keep the current inflation target of 2%.
  • Regulate financial services to encourage green investments.
  • Work with major banks to fund the creation of a local banking sector to offer help to small and medium-sized businesses.

Lib Dems on Brexit

Stopping Brexit is at the heart of the Lib Dem pledges. The party says revoking article 50 will bring about a ‘Remain Bonus’ of £50bn to ‘invest in public services and tackle inequality’.

What would the Lib Dems’ pledges cost?

The Lib Dems says it’s £50bn ‘Remain Bonus’ will be used to grow the economy by nearly 2% by 2024-25.

The party has costed its pledges at a total of £62.9bn, with the majority of money invested into childcare policies (£13.9bn) and schools (£10.5bn).

It says it would recoup £63.8bn from these policies, largely funded by the ‘Remain Bonus’, corporation tax changes and the 1p increase in income tax.

Which?’s consumer agenda

Which? has outlined its agenda for the next government, which sets out six commitments that we want all political parties to make to deliver positive, tangible improvements for individuals across the UK.

This includes providing banking services that work for everyone, better protection over unsafe products and fairer pensions.

Find out more in our consumer agenda for government.

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