What the Lib Dems want – and what they will get

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The Independent Online

Tax

What the Lib Dems say: "Next year 900,000 low-income workers won't pay a penny of income tax, a major step towards our manifesto pledge to make the first £10,000 you earn tax-free" – Treasury Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander.

What they will get: £1,000 rise in personal tax allowance to £7,475 a year. But progress towards the £10,000 goal is dependent on resources.



Spending cuts

What they say: "We will not repeat the mistakes of the 1980s in which whole communities were hollowed out" – Nick Clegg.

What they will get: A £1bn regional growth fund to ease the impact of cuts in public sector-dependent areas. But experts warn the cuts will be regressive.

Schools

What they say: "We are concerned by the establishment of free schools... Local authorities should retain strategic oversight of the provision of school places funded by the use of public money" – Lib Dem conference motion passed.

What they will get: Although Lib Dem councillors may try to frustrate them, free schools will still go ahead.



Universities

What they say: "Issues which are important to us... scrapping tuition fees" — Simon Hughes, Lib Dem deputy leader.

What they will get: Lib Dems favour higher tax payments by graduates, but have not yet persuaded the Tories, who want fees to rise. Review by former BP boss Lord Browne reports next month.



Banks

What they say: "If the banks pay themselves unjustified bonuses, we reserve the right to take very serious action on that" – Nick Clegg.

What they will get: Final decision rests with Chancellor, George Osborne. Will depend on the scale of bonuses announced in the next few months.



Trident

What they say: "The kind of technology and hardware that we acquired in an era of Cold War conflict... the role has changed... and that needs to be reflected in the kinds of things that we spend money on" – Nick Clegg.

What they will get: Lib Dems oppose the Tories who are committed to renewing Trident. Final decision may be delayed until 2015, after the next election.



Sentencing

What they say: "We have to win the argument that simply banging up more and more people and pushing them through the revolving door of the prison system is self-defeating" – Lord McNally, Lib Dem Justice minister

What they will get: Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is sympathetic, but some Tory MPs believe it would make the Tories look soft on law and order.

Electoral reform

What they say: "It is simply unacceptable that so many people feel their vote does not count" – Simon Hughes.

What they will get: A referendum on bringing in the alternative vote system is due in May. But the Tories are free to campaign for a "No" vote.



Prisoners gaining right to vote

What they say: "There needs to be a change to the current situation, but we don't support the blanket rights of prisoners to vote" – Clegg spokeswoman.

What they will get: Tories unconvinced.



Social care

What they say: "Conservative social care plans are unworkable, unfair and unaffordable for the majority of pensioners" – Norman Lamb, chief Parliamentary aide to Clegg

What they will get: Probably the Tories' £8,000 voluntary insurance scheme to cover residential care costs.



By Andrew Grice, Political Editor

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