The Liberal Democrat manifesto launched on 14 April 2010 was built around “four steps to a fairer Britain”. Many of its pledges have gone nowhere, particularly in areas like education, and a number of high-profile ones have been ditched, like scrapping tuition fees and opposing nuclear power. However, perhaps more have been adopted than might have been expected for a minor party in a coalition. Economy 1) The first £10,000 people earn will be tax-free. The party makes that a tax cut of £700 for “most people”. Met – This has been delivered under the coalition. Not met – This was blocked by the Conservatives although taxing higher value properties is still party policy. 3) Break up the banks and “get them lending again”. Not met – The banks are still intact and there are still questions over whether efforts to get them lending to small businesses have been effective. 4) Cut the deficit with £15bn of savings in … [Read more...] about How much of the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 election manifesto was implemented?
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UK DAY WALKS Mourne mountains, Northern Ireland Distance 10.9 milesStart/finish Trassey Track car park Refreshment Meelmore Lodge• walkni.com Kerry Ridgeway, Welsh Borders Distance 15 milesStart/finish Cider House Farm to Bishop’s Castle Refreshment Six Bells Inn • tourism.powys.gov.uk Tramway Trail, Cornwall Distance 11 milesStart/finish Portreath to DevoranRefreshment The Old Quay Inn • westcountrywalks.com Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Yorkshire Distance 16.5 milesStart/finish Skipton to Saltaire Refreshment Lord Rodney Salts Mill is home to a gallery dedicated to David Hockney. On the outskirts of Keighley, you’ll be treated to another masterwork: the Bingley Five-Rise and Three-Rise Locks. Truly inspired engineering, the lower gate of each chamber connects to the upper gate of the chamber below, creating the impression of an aquatic staircase. So audacious was this design that 30,000 people turned up to the inauguration in 1774. Trains run regularly … [Read more...] about 20 superb UK walks – for families, day-trippers and long-distance ramblers
Joyce Quin is right to draw attention to the links between trade agreements and responding to the climate crisis (Letters, 7 December). But the link goes way beyond the advantages of trading closer rather than more distantly. As the climate emergency grows more serious, the world’s nations will at last start having to make real choices about whether to respond seriously to the challenge. Those that do will be faced with the urgent dilemma of how to deal with those that don’t. Lord Stern’s hope that all states would be amenable to rational analysis and persuasion seems to have proved overoptimistic. Thus the only real option (excluding military action for obvious reasons) will be to refuse to trade with those states that are unwilling to face their responsibilities, except in those sectors that are not damaging to the climate. There is some logic to this in that the economic policies and models of the states that are most hostile to effective emergency measures are … [Read more...] about Climate crisis leaves us with real choices to make