This Thursday voters in Bolton North East will be able to elect a new member of parliament for their area. This is a chance to give Bolton the fresh start that it so desperately needs.

Labour have failed our town. They have neglected our roads, cut our public services and backed Cliff Morris’s failed policies all the way. The Tories have made cuts of £22 billion to the NHS, and £19 million to schools in Bolton, they’re even willing to give MPs a free vote to bring back fox hunting.

Let’s put Bolton first by electing Liberal Democrat candidate Warren Fox for Bolton North East. Polls are open from 7am until 10pm.

These are our commitments to you.

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£7 billion extra for schools under Liberal Democrat plans

The funding would reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets.

We will:

Invest £7 billion extra in children’s education, so that no school loses money per pupil in cash terms.

Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1000 – giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the best start in life.

End the 1% cap on teachers’ pay rises.

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Save our NHS and care services

Liberal Democrats will take five key steps in order to put our health and social care system back on a sustainable financial footing:

  1. An immediate 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax to raise £6 billion additional revenue which would be ringfenced to be spent only on NHS and social care services.
  2. Direct this additional investment to the following priority areas in the health and care system: social care, primary care (and other out-of-hospital care), mental health and public health. This represents the most efficient and effective way of spending these extra resources – ensuring they will have the greatest impact on the quality of care patients receive.
  3. In the longer term and as a replacement for the 1p Income Tax rise, commission the development of a dedicated Health and Care Tax on the basis of wide consultation, possibly based on a reform of National Insurance contributions, which will bring together spending on both services into a collective budget and sets out transparently, on people’s payslips, what we spend on them.
  4. Establish a cross-party health and social care convention, bringing together stakeholders from all political parties, patients groups, the public, and professionals from within the health and social care system to carry out a comprehensive review of the longer-term sustainability of the health and social care finances and workforce, and the practicalities of greater integration. We would invite the devolved administrations to be a part of this work.
  5. Introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring agency for health and care, similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility. This would report every three years on how much money the system needs to deliver safe and sustainable treatment and care, and how much is needed to meet the costs of projected increases in demand and any new initiatives – to ensure any changes in services are properly costed and affordable.

Our longer-term objective will be to bring together NHS and social care into one seamless service – pooling budgets in every area by 2020 and developing integrated care organisations.
Bedroom Tax

Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’, while seeking to achieve the aim of making best use of the housing supply through incentivising local authorities to help tenants ‘downsize’.

Help young people in need by reversing cuts to housing benefit for 18-21-year-olds and increase the rates of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit for those aged 18-24 at the same rate as minimum wages.

Increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in line with average rents in an area, ensuring that LHA is enough for a family to pay their housing costs no matter where they live.

Abandon the two-child policy on family benefits and abolish the Conservatives’ ‘rape clause’ where a woman has to declare children that are born as a result of rape in order to access benefits

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£60m fund to tackle homelessness

The funding would help local councils tackle homelessness by providing emergency accommodation and intervening early to prevent people losing their homes.

This forms part of the party’s comprehensive plan to tackle the root causes of homelessness including:

  • extending the period someone is defined as threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days, to allow earlier interventions to avoid people losing their homes

  • increasing housebuilding to at least 300,000 new homes a year

  • restoring housing benefit for 18-21s

  • ending the Government’s policy of forcing local authorities to sell high value council homes

PS

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