John Pugh has welcomed the Liberal Democrats manifesto published today, particularly the commitment to give every child in Southport a world-class education.
Opportunity for all is at the heart of the manifesto and the party has announced a major new commitment to protect education funding for every child - providing an extra £2.5bn of funding for 2 to 9 year olds by 2020.
This spending commitment will allow the Liberal Democrats to:
- Put a qualified teacher in every classroom.
- Recruit and retain more good teachers.
- Help schools to offer more one-to-one and small group tuition.
- Expand early years education as pupil numbers grow.
This funding will also help ensure we can meet our commitment that every child is able to read well by the age of 11.
The £2.5bn funding commitment is the equivalent of: 70,000 teachers, 10,000 learning support assistants and guarantees funding for the additional 460,000 children starting school through the parliament.
The Liberal Democrats have also set out plans to safeguard the NHS for the future. NHS funding will increased by at least £8bn per year in real terms by 2020.
The Liberal Democrats are the first party to present a plan to meet the financial needs of the NHS as set out by Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England in his Five Year Forward View. We will focus extra funding on two key priorities that will help reduce cost pressures in other areas to help NHS funding remain sustainable. These priorities are:
- Mental health. We want to end the discrimination against mental health and have pledged £500m extra a year to support this from 2015/16 onwards.
- Prevention. Keeping people healthier for longer and supporting people to stay as healthy as possible and to receive care closer to home.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party to set out a credible road map for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament.