Liberal Democrat Local elections 2012: delivering for the East of England
a tax cut for 2.4 million people on low and middle incomes
ÂŁ96 million to support disadvantaged children
apprenticeship for nearly 40,000 people so far
creating jobs through the Regional Growth Fund and building infrastructure
Liberal Democrats in the East of England are doing all we can to support hardworking families across the region in these difficult times. Our MPs, peers, MEP, councillors and campaigners are working hard together to do all we can to deliver jobs and growth for the people of the East of England. We are getting on with the difficult job of cleaning up the economic mess left by Labour. We are rebalancing the UK economy away from bankers and the city and towards sustainable jobs across the country. No longer should reckless financial speculators in the City of London be able to hold the country ransom when their gambles don’t pay off. That is why under my leadership the Regional Growth Fund has delivered £113m of investment to the South East and East of England which will create more than 11,000 jobs in the East England region. And we are also working to improve the infrastructure across the region which is why we are supporting investment in broadband internet and capital investment in science and research. In the East of England the difference we are making in coalition government for hardworking families is clear. Thanks to us 108,000 low income earners in the region no longer pay any income tax at all and 2.4m people across the East of England have got a £45 a month tax cut since Labour left office. And this year schools across the East of England get additional money through the Pupil Premium, which will increase next year. At the same time we have introduced record numbers of Apprenticeships across the country, including 40,000 here in the East of England. This manifesto shows what we have delivered and what we will be delivering. Our commitment to community politics means we work tirelessly for local people - we are not beholden to either big business or the trade unions. Instead Liberal Democrats in Westminster and in local communities across the region are dedicated to doing what is right for the country and right for local people.
Thanks to Liberal Democrats, more than a million of the lowest paid people have been lifted out of paying tax across the country and 25m more have received a tax cut. This is part of the Liberal Democrat commitment that no one should be paying any tax over the first £10,000 they earn. From April, nearly 108,000 people in the East of England will have been lifted out of paying tax altogether and almost 2.4m basic rate tax payers will receive a £130 tax cut. Liberal Democrats will not stop there: in April 2013, the Income Tax threshold will be raised to £9,205 bringing the total tax cut for basic rate tax payers to £546. In the East of England, that means that a total of 183,000 people will have been lifted out paying Income Tax and another 2.2m will get another tax cut.
“That little bit extra a month makes all the difference” Struan Campbell, university staff member
Every child deserves a fair start in life. It is too often the case that someone’s family background means they do less well than their more well-off classmates. Liberal Democrats are investing an extra £1.25bn in your schools this year. This will double to £2.5bn a year by 2014. In the East of England, this means that schools will get a total £95.7m this year to support around 163,000 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. This money is making a real difference because schools can spend it in the way they believe is best for their children: reducing class sizes, hiring additional teaching assistants or getting better IT equipment to help those who are struggling. The Pupil Premium will not just help individuals but by targeting help at those who need it most, it will allow whole classes to move forward faster together.
Young people’s skills in the work place have been neglected until recently. In a balanced economy, we must ensure that people can get the skills necessary in the way that best suits them and meets the demands of employers. That is why Liberal Democrats have been overseeing a record expansion in apprentices in the East of England: last year alone, nearly 40,000 people across the region were learning and earning on an apprenticeship – up 68% on Labour’s record. We’re not stopping there, with a commitment to an additional 250,000 apprentices nationally by 2015. University Technical Colleges will be opening across the country with one expected to open in Bedfordshire this year. They will give 14 to 19-year old students the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the workplaces by integrating technical, practical and academic teaching.
East of England Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in jobs and growth in the East of England, to help create a sustainable regional economy by investing directly and by leveraging private sector investment with public funds as well as by creating the right conditions for growth.
Regional Growth Fund The RGF is designed to rebalance the economy away from the City of London and funds private sector projects in areas where there is currently a heavy reliance on public sector jobs. So far, the RGF has funded a number of projects across the East of England, creating over 10,000 jobs in new businesses and the supply chain across the region. Liberal Democrats realise more needs to be done. That is why the national investment in the RGF has increased by £1bn to £2.4bn. The third round of investment will be announced later in 2012.
Infrastructure investment Liberal Democrats know from our experience in local government that jobs are only created when the conditions are right. That is why we are committed to ensuring the right environment is in place: that means lower corporation tax, money from the Growing Places Fund and putting extra money in investing in infrastructure. Overall, the Coalition will invest £10bn into schools, science, broadband, new roads and railways. In the East of England, that means money to fund:
Ÿ A14 in Cambridgeshire - £20m immediate investment and a shortlist of options has been identified to improve road safety on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge. Ÿ New Lower Thames Crossing Ÿ A11 Fiveways Ÿ M1 J10-13 completion 2013 Ÿ M1 Junction 10a improvement Page 7
Ÿ Funding to improve broadband provision will go to Bedfordshire (£1m), Cambridgeshire (£6.75m), Essex (£6.46m), Hertfordshire (£1.11m), Lincolnshire (£14.3m), Suffolk (£11.68m) and Norfolk (£15m) Ÿ Part of the £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project will be used to deliver improved mobile phone coverage to households and along a number of busy A-roads with poor coverage, including the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill.
Ÿ Continuing investment in the £14.5 billion Crossrail project, with services operational from 2018. Ÿ Continuing investment in the Thameslink Programme, of around £6 billion in infrastructure and new trains Ÿ Additional funding for smart ticketing, investment in improving local transport through the Better Bus Areas and the Green Bus Fund, which includes improvements in Bedford (£200,000), Cambridgeshire (£1.72m), Norfolk (£2.58m) and Southend (£1.58m)
Ÿ£70m of investment to support science and research in the East of England: £44m for the Babraham Research Campus and £26m for the Norwich Research Park ŸThe London Gateway will be going ahead with £200bn of largely private investment Ÿ Under the Get Britain Building fund £40m will be invested in the East of England, delivering nearly 1,200 homes. This will also support over 2,300 jobs in construction and related sectors locally.
Ÿ The Growing Places Fund will provide £500m nationally to address projects that have stalled and to address infrastructure constraints, promoting economic growth and the delivery of jobs and houses Ÿ South East Midlands (£13.1m) Ÿ Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough (£15.8m) Ÿ Hertfordshire (£15.3m) Ÿ New Anglia (£17.9m)
Liberal Democrats know that our drive for a more sustainable economy is an opportunity to cut fuel bills, increasing our energy security by ending the UKâ€™s reliance on fuel imports from volatile countries and create green jobs. Private companies have already invested ÂŁ301m in the East of England thanks to the positive framework Liberal Democrats have created for green investment, creating jobs and technical knowledge with further investment to come in the near future. This ranges from a cabling to biomass plants.
The New Anglia LEP has been made a Green Economy Pathfinder, which will demonstrate how businesses in the region can drive new markets for environmental goods and services, and support the switch to a low carbon economy. Liberal Democrats have introduced the Green Deal. Starting from the autumn of 2012, this flagship programme will be unique in the world and mean that all homes and businesses will be insulated with no upfront investment from consumers and business owners.
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