Brent Labour has compiled this list of Liberal Democrat broken promises, branding them the “Fib Dems”:
Cleaning up politics
“Don’t settle for low politics and broken promises”.
(Nick Clegg in his introduction to the Lib Dem manifesto 2010)
On deficit reduction
“The speed and the extent of deficit reduction should be decided on how the economy was performing not political sound bites and dogma. The time to start cutting the budget deficit and its speed must be decided by a series of objective tests which include the rate of recovery, the level of unemployment, the availability of credit to businesses and the government’s ability to borrow in international markets on good terms”
(Vince Cable, January 2010)
“We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. The Conservatives will. Let me repeat that: Our plans do not require a rise in VAT. The Tory plans do, they come with a secret VAT bombshell”.
(Nick Clegg, April 2010)
On tuition fees
Sarah Teather used her maiden speech on 27 November 2003 to pledge her opposition to all top-up and tuition fees. She even claimed that fees were a particular issue for the Muslim community. She said:
“Top-up and tuition fees are serious issues of concern to my constituents. All the evidence suggests that fear of debt will deter those from lower income families and ethnic minority communities. This is particularly the case for Muslims – a large community in my constituency – whose attitudes to debt are very different. Fundamentally, I believe that this is about whether we want to encourage a world class education system, or a class based education system where students choose universities according to their ability to pay, and universities are judged on the level of their fees”.
(Sarah Teather, 27 November 2003)
“There is no question mark over the policy of the Lib Dems on tuition fees. There is no question about my personal commitment to that policy. The only question is when we can afford to scrap tuition fees”
(Nick Clegg, September 2009)
“The Liberal Democrats are the only major party to have a clear plan to abolish Labour’s tuition fees”
(Nick Clegg, speaking in Oxford, April 2010)
“We will scrap unfair university tuition fees so everyone has the chance to get a degree, regardless of their parents’ income”.
(Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the 2010 General Election)
On Council housing – security of tenure
A total of 37 Lib Dem MPs signed an early day motion (EDM) in November 2007 which “actively opposes both the stigmatisation of council housing as housing of last resort and proposals to means test or time-limit secure tenancies”.
(The Guardian, August 2010)
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes today warned the Prime Minister that fixed term council tenancy agreements “in no way represent the policy of the coalition”.
Mr Hughes said David Cameron’s ideas for ending “council houses for life” had not been discussed within the coalition and “certainly do not represent the policy of Liberal Democrats”.
(The Independent, August 2010)
On Child Benefit
“We are not putting child benefit into question. I never have and he (Vince Cable) hasn’t either” said Clegg, giving an unequivocal commitment to universalism and claiming that neither he nor Vince Cable had ever suggested anything else.
(Nick Clegg in an interview with Jeremy Paxman, April 2010)
“We will boost the state pension by immediately restoring the link with earnings growth”.
(Lib Dem manifesto 2010)
On the Alternative Vote system (when Gordon Brown offered a referendum on it)
“A miserable little compromise”
Nick Clegg dismissed the alternative vote (AV) system proposed by the Prime Minister as “a baby step in the right direction”, and said he would not settle for “a miserable little compromise thrashed out by the Labour Party”.
(The Times, April 2010)
Chris Huhne said: “Gordon Brown has undergone a deathbed conversion to electoral reform now that defeat is staring him in the face, but the alternative vote does not give voters enough power.”
(Daily Mail, February, 2010)
“Only the Single Transferable Vote in multi-member seats would abolish MPs’ meal tickets for life, and we will fight to amend this proposal to give people a real choice for a more significant change.”
(Lib Dem Press Release, Feb 2010)
On Social Housing
In a speech to Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Birmingham on 13 March 2010, Teather said Conservative plans to abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes would be a “total disaster.” She said their housing plans lacked substance, causing them to try and keep housing off the agenda.
She said there was no “bearable” alternative to her party’s aim to invest £1.4bn in bringing 250,000 empty homes back into use.
“The Tories think the only way to solve the housing crisis is to change the law so that it is easier for big developers to stuff vulnerable families in to houses the size of shoe boxes,” she said.
“If you abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes, all that is going to happen is that many more people will end up on housing benefit, and many fewer people will be able to work”.
“Put poor people into worse housing, and make them pay more for it.
That’s it. That’s the Tory big idea.”
(Sarah Teather, 13 March 2010, speaking at the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference in Birmingham)