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Despite being a party in their own right, the Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition party with the Conservative Party for the past 5 years, which means that a lot of their future policy plans will rely upon work done as part of the coalition Government.
Funding for road network projects
It was announced in the budget that £200 million would be made available in 2014/15 to fund a number of road network projects. £168 million will be provided to England alone, which will be shared out using a bid-based fund system. This funding comes in addition to the £728 million the Government has already pledged to provide next year to councils for highway maintenance.
The group is also in support of the introduction of road tolls and other ‘cost neutral’ road pricing measures. Cost neutral road pricing is a current policy the coalition Government has already put in place (although this may change before the next election).
Young driver safety
At present, the Lib Dems are hinting towards their future plans by referencing current coalition policies to improve young driver safety. The Government has already announced a green paper on young drivers designed to target safety measures at the groups of drivers most likely to have accidents, and in turn, reduce the premiums for everyone.
Despite Labour claiming that people are now paying 3p more on every litre of petrol, the coalition government has argued that scrapping Labour’s ‘fuel duty escalator’ has meant fuel is now actually 20p per litre cheaper. With the average fill-up costing £9 less, motorists could be saving as much as £680 by the current parliament.
Following Labour’s claims, a Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “If this is how Labour do maths it’s no wonder they crashed the economy and forget to talk about the deficit.
“The truth is if we did not axe their plans to increase fuel taxes by inflation, scrap their fuel duty escalator and cut fuel duty ourselves, motorists would now be paying 20p a litre more at the pumps.
“Only Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and giving a fair deal for motorists.”
The Liberal Democrats, whilst in a coalition Government, have cut fuel duty by 1p in 2011, scrapped the fuel duty escalator and scrapped the inflation rises. This translates into around £22.5 billion of support for motorists and businesses.
In total by 2015-16, a typical motorist will have saved £680, a small business with a van £1,300 and haulier £21,000 as a result of the action the coalition Government has taken.
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