The major new policies in Glasgow

I’ve written elsewhere about why policies aren’t the key thing for the Liberal Democrats at the moment.

There have, however, been two significant new policies unveiled so far at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow:

The Liberal Democrats will challenge David Cameron to “put his money where his mouth is” by boosting the health  budget before next May’s general election.

The Prime Minister has pledged that a Conservative government would ensure above-inflation rises for the NHS in England each year between 2015-20. But Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Treasury Chief Secretary, will demand that an immediate injection to head off funding problems is announced in George Osborne’s autumn statement later this year. [The Independent]


Business Secretary Vince Cable is to announce plans to give the lowest-paid apprentices a £1.06 an hour pay rise. [BBC]

Although it doesn’t count so much as a policy as a speculation, in the housing fringe meeting I chaired this lunchtime Danny Alexander floated the idea of getting the state to intervene more directly in the housing market to ensure that if others are not building enough new homes then the government commissions them directly.

He’s asking the Treasury to look at the details of a policy that would not only be important for housing but also could make it an important counter-cyclical economic policy, helping smooth out the worst excesses of the economic cycle.

Plus there’s also been this:

Note: there have been many other important policies passed so far at conference, though they are generally very much in line with existing party policy and approach, and hence I’ve not counted them as ‘major’. For example, the party’s liberal approach to drugs has the chance to make a huge positive impact – but it’s also very much in line with the spirit of previous party attitudes towards drugs.

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