Liberal Democrats pledge extra £2.5bn for education budget

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says education budget boost will have 'near religious status' in future coalition talks

By Sebastian Whale

15 Apr 2015

The Liberal Democrats have pledged an extra £2.5bn for England's education budget, as the party launches its general election manifesto.

They say they will protect spending “from cradle to college” through the next parliament and will maintain funding for nurseries, schools and further education institutions in real terms and per pupil.

Leader Nick Clegg told the the Guardian that the money would have “a near religious status” in any negotiations for a future coalition.

More on the manifestos
Conservative manifesto: The new pledges
What does the 2015 Labour manifesto mean for the civil service?
Labour launches BME manifesto with Fast Stream quota plan

The funding is dependent on eliminating the UK’s budget deficit by the year 2017-18, at which point funding for two to 19-year-olds would increase with economic growth.

Speaking at the launch of the party's manifesto in London this morning, Clegg said the Liberal Democrats would "add a heart to a Conservative government and a brain to a Labour one".

He added: "Most people want a stronger economy and a fairer society and they’re fed up of having to choose one or the other. 

"This manifesto proves you don’t need to choose between them. If you choose the Liberal Democrats: you can have both. If you choose the Liberal Democrats, you can stop the next Government from cutting too much or borrowing too much."

The deputy prime minister also pledged to meet the funding request for the NHS outlined by its CEO Simon Stevens, committing to investing the £8bn shortfall per year by the end of the next parliament.

The Conservatives said the Lib Dems' education promise offered "uncertainty for parents", while Labour said Nick Clegg's party had "broken their promises and backed the Tories all the way".

Meanwhile Ukip will unveil its manifesto today, including a commitment to meet the Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, as well as promising 6,000 new jobs for armed forces veterans in the police, prison service and UK border.

Share this page