The Liberal Democrats’ key demands for in the event of another hung parliament have emerged after their manifesto was leaked.
Ryan Coeztee, Nick Clegg’s director of strategy, was photographed carrying the document as he left the Deputy Prime Minister’s office in Whitehall.
It showed that “the front page” of the Lib Dem manifesto would have four flagship policies – to balance the nation’s books by 2018; cut income tax by £400 for low- and middle-earners, paid for by taxes on the richest; guaranteed equal waiting times for mental health as for physical health and protecting spending on nurseries, schools and colleges.
These are expected to form the Lib Dems’ non-negotiable “red lines” in any talks on a coalition with the Conservatives or Labour. Mr Clegg has refused to list his demands before the election, knowing that doing so runs the risk of taking the voters for granted.
The document captured on camera reveals that the Lib Dems will call for claimants for Jobseekers' Allowance to undergo English tests, and those assessed as "poor" would face benefit cuts unless they agree to take lessons. Under-21s would pay just a third of their bus fares to college or work and at least one GP in every area would open from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.
The Lib Dems denied Tory claims that the document was leaked deliberately as a “PR stunt”. A spokesman said: “Like all political parties, we’re currently discussing our priorities for the next parliament and we’ll provide more details in due course.”Reuse content