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Liberal Democrats Manifesto

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

The Liberal Democrat Manifesto can be found here. You may also be interested to read the Liberal Democrat ‘Plan for Equalities and Human Rights’ here.


Please note: we recognise that Christians care about many issues besides the one's listed below. We have focused on the issues CARE works on for obvious reasons.


Abortion


‘In government, we will give every child the best start in life, no matter their ability or background, and we will empower them to make the most of the challenges ahead.’ Page 8

‘We will prioritise government spending on the things that matter most to people’s wellbeing – both now and in the future – including:

- Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences by investing further in services during pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life.’ Page 27


‘We will:

- Invest £1 billion a year in Children’s Centres to support families and tackle inequalities in children’s health, development and life chances.

- Introduce ‘baby boxes’ in England, as advocated by the Royal College of Midwives, to provide babies and parents with essential items to help with health and development.’ Page 32


‘We will:

- Transform perinatal mental health support for those who are pregnant, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, and help them get early care when needed.’ Page 54


‘We believe that everyone has a right to make independent decisions over their reproductive health without interference by the state, and that access to reproductive healthcare is a human right. We will:

- Decriminalise abortion across the UK while retaining the existing 24-week limit and legislate for access to abortion facilities within Northern Ireland.

- Enforce safe zones around abortion clinics, make intimidation or harassment of abortion service users and staff outside clinics, or on common transport routes to these services, illegal.

- Fund abortion clinics to provide their services free of charge to service users regardless of nationality or residency.’ Page 61


‘We will:

- Pursue a foreign agenda with gender equality at its heart, focusing on: the transformation of the position of women through economic inclusion, education and training; ensuring the lives of women and girls are not ignored in favour of trade or regional alliances; working to extend reproductive rights and end female genital mutilation; and ending sexual violence in conflict zones.’ Page 92


Assisted Suicide


‘Provide more choice at the end of life, and move towards free end-of-life social care, whether people spend their last days at home or in a hospice.’ Page 59


‘Regard every suicide as preventable. We will take an evidence led approach to prevention, making it easier for people at risk to get the help they need, and equipping more members of the public with the skills and confidence to talk about suicide.’ Page 56


Commercial Sexual Exploitation


There is no specific policy on CSE in the manifesto, although decriminalisation of prostitution is party policy


Family and Tax


‘We will scrap the Marriage Tax Allowance.’ Page 23


‘We will offer free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four and children aged between nine and 24 months where their parents or guardians are in work: 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year; Increase the funding for these free hours to cover the actual cost of nursery provision; Invest £1 billion a year in Children’s Centres to support families and tackle inequalities in children’s health, development and life chances.’ Page 32


‘We will make the welfare system work by tackling child poverty by removing the two-child limit and benefits cap.’ Page 65


‘Increase statutory paternity leave from the current two weeks up to six weeks and ensure that parental leave is a day-one right, and address continuing inequalities faced by same-sex couples.’ Page 76


‘Require organisations to publish parental leave and pay policies.’ Page 76


Gambling


‘We will:

- Introduce a compulsory levy on gambling companies to fund research, education and treatment of problem gambling.

- Ban the use of credit cards for gambling.

- Restrict gambling advertising.

- Establish a Gambling Ombudsman.’ Page 56


Human Trafficking


‘Introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights – requiring companies, financial institutions and public sector agencies to exercise due diligence in avoiding specified activities such as child labour or modern slavery or specified products such as commodities produced with deforestation, in their operations and supply chains, and to report on their actions.’ Page 22


‘Prioritise government spending on the things that matter most to people’s wellbeing – both now and in the future – including: – Targeted support for those most at risk of poor wellbeing: vulnerable children, people who are homeless, victims of trafficking and exploitation.’ Page 27


‘Properly resource the National Crime Agency to combat serious and organised crime, and tackle modern slavery and human trafficking through proactive, intelligence-led enforcement of labour market standards’ Page 69


Marriage


N.B. See ‘Family and Tax’ for proposals on childcare and parental leave.

‘Introduce a right to no-fault divorce.’ Page 74


‘Extend limited legal rights to cohabiting couples, for example, to give them greater protection in the event of separation or a partner’s death.’ Page 74


- (Read this Marriage Foundation Blog for an explanation of the problems of extending marriage-like rights to cohabiting couples)

‘Complete the introduction of equal marriage, by: Enabling the Church of England and Church of Wales to conduct same-sex marriages.’ Page 74-75


- (Note: As the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford recently stated, the Churches of England and Wales are already free to decide whether to solemnise same-sex marriages.)

‘Introduce legal recognition of humanist marriages.’ Page 75


Online Safety


‘Include teaching about how to use social media responsibly in our ’curriculum for life‘ and provide advice and support for parents on how to help their children protect themselves online.’ Page 36


Relationships and Sex Education


‘Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE.’ Page 33


‘Tackle bullying in schools, including bullying on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression, by promoting pastoral leadership in schools and delivering high-quality sex and relationships education.’ Page 36


‘Require inclusive school uniform policies that are gender-neutral and flexible enough to suit different budgets, and provide training for school staff on how to review and improve their uniform policies.’ Page 36


‘Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects.’ Page 36


Religious Liberty


‘Defend the Human Rights Act, resist any attempt to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and oppose any laws that unnecessarily erode civil liberties.’ Page 74


- (Note: the Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the UK domestic law. Article 9 of the ECHR protects the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.)


‘Tackle the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences, giving law enforcement the resources and training they need to identify and prevent them, and condemning inflammatory rhetoric – including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia – by those with public platforms.’ Page 75


‘Provide funding for protective security measures to places of worship, schools and community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime and terror attacks.’ Page 75


- (Note: the existing Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme to which this alludes is currently an England and Wales only provision.)


‘Protect, defend, and promote human rights for all, including LGBT+ individuals who are persecuted across the world as well as those persecuted for their religion or belief.’ Page 92

‘Develop a free, comprehensive unconscious bias training toolkit and make the provision of unconscious bias training to all members of staff a condition of the receipt of public funds.’ Page 73

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