You know the score by now: another day, another Liberal Democrat policy announcement that is good in its own right but which also ups the spending pressure on areas that haven’t had their moment in the ring-fenced sun, such as local government.
The latest: tripling the early years pupil premium. To quote from the party’s press release:
The Liberal Democrats will more than triple investment in the early years pupil premium from £300 to £1,000 per child under manifesto plans announced by Schools Minister David Laws today.
The early years pupil premium was announced in March 2014 and is currently worth £300 for every disadvantaged child. Liberal Democrats want to extend this to £1000, helping to ensure that every child has got a fair start in life and is ready to learn when they start school…
This will benefit over 170,000 disadvantaged children from 2015-16.
Commenting, David Laws MP said:
“Liberal Democrats have delivered huge amounts for the early years in our time in Government. We have given extra free hours of early years education to all three year olds, and introduced free early years education to two year olds from the most hard pressed homes. We have introduced new Early Years Teachers, and we vetoed Tory plans that would have meant adults looking after up to six two year olds at the same time.
“By committing this extra money to help the youngest disadvantaged children in society, we will ensure that they get the best possible start in life and have an opportunity to get on.”
I feel there should be a Generation Game style memory test for party activists to see how many of the policies we can remember… but you can always cheat by reading my previous posts about the Lib Dem policy announcements.
As with all the others, strictly speaking the early years pupil premium announcement is a proposal for inclusion in the manifesto rather than a decision on the manifesto. The pre-manifesto document will get debated at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow this October.