Leeds West general election Liberal Democrat candidate Alisdair McGregor answers readers’ questions ahead of the election. A full list of candidates and their responses can be found here.
1. What is your party going to do to make sure my kids have good educational opportunities?
The Liberal Democrats want to see excellent educational opportunities for every child, and accountability for local educational needs to the local authorities. We oppose the continued use of academies and free schools to take control and accountability away from local people and local authorities.
We will invest an additional £7bn in education, to ensure that no school loses out on cash-per-pupil in real terms.
We will triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1000 – giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the best start in life.
We will oppose new Grammar schools, giving local authorities proper control over admissions and new schools.
2. What is your stance on the three million EU citizens living in the UK?
The rights of EU citizens living in the UK – and by the same token the rights of UK citizens living in the EU – should be 100% respected by any government with a shred of common decency.
The Liberal Democrats believe these EU citizens who have settled in the UK should be treated with the dignity due to all human beings, and having made their lives in the UK should be allowed to remain here as long as they desire.
People’s lives are not bargaining chips!
3. What would you do to support Social Care in our area, particularly foster care, in a climate of cuts that are seeing fewer workers caring for more children?
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to increase income tax by 1p in the pound in order to properly fund Health and Social Care, and will also change the entire approach to social care by integrating it properly with many other services, both locally and nationally, especially Health Care.
4. What will you do to give young people the very best opportunities in life, to help them prepare for uncertain futures in a global world economy?
Aside from the educational policies outlined under question 1, the key to opportunity for young people is openness and internationalism.
The Lib Dems would ensure that people’s freedom of movement is retained and if possible expanded, to give everyone the freedom to excel.
5. When do candidates see austerity coming to an end and living standards and security improving?
The key to security future prosperity and ending austerity measures is to ensure that our economy grows and thrives.
We believe that the best method of doing this is to Remain in the single market and if possible within the European Union.
This country cannot thrive if it has locked itself away from our biggest trading partners due to the false promises of the Brexit supporters.
In 200 words or less, tell us why readers should vote for you/your party?
People should vote for the Liberal Democrats because only we have a vision of the future which includes prosperity for all people in the UK as part of a shared future within Europe and the world.
We blocked these harmful Tory plans for 5 years in Coalition, and continued to do so from the opposition benches, in sharp contrast to the Labour Party who forced their MPs to vote in favour of the most hard-line Tory wet dream of Brexit.