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Introducing our philosophy and policies

You might have heard Liberal Democrats saying that the Party has a 'sound philosophical base' - so what is it?
Lib Dems believe in an inclusive society founded on equal rights and equal opportunities. This does not mean dull or sterile uniformity. Individual choice and freedom are at the centre of our approach.
We believe in an active state - a state with the power to do good for those it serves - but we do not believe in the nanny state. Wherever possible the role of government should be to equip people with the means and opportunities to make genuine decisions for themselves.

The preamble to the party's Constitution puts it well:

"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society…we aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the State is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives."

Party Policy

At the national level Policy is produced by members or the Federal Policy Committee submitting proposals to the party to debate at the two Conferences held each year.
At the time of the country's Annual Budget many of the priorities within these policies are reviewed and published in the Lib Dems Alternative Budget. We cost every commitment and identify where the funds will come from.
On the party's national web site you will find access to detailed policy statements which will include the following topics:

  • Restoring the Nation's Health: Committing us to raising the share of GDP spent on the NHS to at least average EU levels over 5 years.
  • Transport: Establishing an effective public transport network, with taxes that encourage the use of less-polluting cars, and local transport decisions made locally.
  • Justice and Crime: Providing 6,000 extra police officers, inform every community of their local named police officer, and develop 'working prisons' to focus on re-training to reduce re-offending. Opposing ID cards.
  • Education: Ensuring a maximum class size of 25 for all primary schools, introduce a schools 2010 Capital Fund to tackle the huge backlog in repairs and maintenance for school buildings and abolish undergraduate university tuition fees.
  • Pensions and Benefits: Creating a pensions system that is sustainable, tackles poverty and is fair to women and carers. Replacing Council Tax with a local income tax so everyone contributes according to their ability to pay.
  • Post Offices and Rural Services: Helping to maintain services in rural areas particularly for those on low incomes with limited mobility by funding 100% rates relief for sub post offices meeting specified criteria.

Similar democratic principles apply to the development of regional, county and district policies. At each level conferences are held and all the members of the Party within the area involved are entitled to attend and vote on the policies proposed. Thus copies of Norfolk County and South Norfolk District manifestos are developed. Manifestos are displayed on appropriate pages of this website in the periods before County Council and District Council elections.