8 (Other) Reasons To Vote Lib Dem

28/05/2017 20:04 BST | Updated 28/05/2017 20:04 BST
Peter Nicholls / Reuters

As manifestos begin to take precedence over personalities in the snap election campaign, the Liberal Democrats are failing to be heard over the noise of resurgent democratic socialism in Labour and traditional interventionism by the Tories.

Whilst a referendum on the final Brexit deal is the party's main line of attack going in to 8 June, here are 8 other reasons to lend your vote to the amber party this Summer, lifted straight from the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

1. Legalisation of cannabis

After decades of failure, the Liberal Democrats have opted to end the shambolic 'war on drugs', in a bid to protect the public from underground deals, sub-standard cannabinoids and the tyranny of government's owning a person's body. This makes the Lib Dems the only major party in favour of a legalised cannabis market.

2. The NHS

The party are proposing a 1p rise in income tax to provide the NHS and social care the money it needs to adequately serve the public. Whilst, in the 1940s, the NHS was largely the brainchild of Liberal William Beveridge, seventy years on, his party is proposing a negligible increase in tax to provide the quality of healthcare he envisaged. The IFS have said that this method of funding is more sustainable than Labour's.

3. Education investment

The Liberal Democrats have heralded their reputation as the party of education for years, after introducing the Pupil Premium and Free School Meals in coalition government. In 2017, Tim Farron's party are calling for £7billion extra for schools over the next parliament.

4. Parity for mental health

For years, the Lib Dems have held a commitment to ensuring parity of esteem for mental and physical ill health - and they pledge to continue championing that cause in the next parliament. The party aim to do this by, among other things, cutting waiting times for talking treatments to six weeks or under and adequately funding LGBT+ specific mental health organisations.

5. Houses, houses, houses

When elected leader of the party back in July 2015, Tim Farron quickly made housing a primary focus of his reign. The Liberals are aiming to build 300,000 eco-friendly homes a year by 2022, half a million by the end of the next parliament. As well as this, they want to set-up a Rent to Own scheme in which each rent payment increases a tenant's stake in the ownership of their home - helping to combat the current perils of home ownership in the UK.

6. Votes at 16

16-year-olds can consent to sex, get married, join the army, work full-time and join a trade union - but they cannot vote on any of the policies affecting those things. The Lib Dems have pledged to enfranchise 16 and 17 year olds for all elections and referenda, as well as retaining their commitment to proportional representation.

7. Reversing Tory welfare cuts

As well as a commitment to fairer democracy, the party is also pledging to reverse the welfare cuts under the current Tory government. The party pledge to inject an extra £9.7bn in to welfare payments - twice as much as Labour. According to the IFS, the poorest in our country will lose twice as much under Labour, and three times as much under the Tories as they would under the Liberal Democrats.

8. Refugees

Another pillar of Farron's leadership has been to champion the rights of refugees to claim asylum in the UK. The Lib Dems in parliament will support the reinstatement of the Dubs amendment - which allows 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees to settle in Britain. As well as this, the Liberal Democrats aim to accept 50,000 by the end of the next parliament.