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Common Ground General Election 2017

Where Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green meet


1 Democracy and governance ............................................. 1

2 Economy and employment................................................ 3

3 Education............................................................................ 4

4 Energy ................................................................................. 5

5 Environment and climate change ..................................... 6

6 Financial system ................................................................ 7

7 Health .................................................................................. 8

8 Housing............................................................................... 9

Draft of the common ground between the parties, as shown by their General
Election Manifestos 2017.

This does not cover all topics or all policies in the assessed policy areas. It
aims to give a flavour of the common ground and shows that in general all these
three parties have the same end goal, they only tend to differ in specific actions
to get to the same place and in the speed of direction to that end.

1 Democracy and governance

Make every vote count

o Introduce proportional representation

o Votes at 16

o Increase voter registration LibDem, Green

Take big money out of politics

o Stop evasion of spending limits in elections

o Limit individual donations to political parties

o Strengthen trade union legislation to allow members to pay party of their


o Strengthen the lobby register for MPs and ban MP lobbying work

Fairer parliament

o Job share for MPs

o Family friendly operation of Parliament

o More inclusive candidate lists

o Parliament to vote on any new trade deals Green

o House of Lords members to be elected

o Constitutional convention with wide membership to examine how our

democracy works and produce a constitution

Fairer society

o Restore funding of and strengthen the Equalities and Human Rights


o Remove lobbying gag on charities

o Increase democratic and political education in schools

o Reinstate the public sector equality duties and seek to extend them to the
private sector- Labour

o Set up a properly funded Violence Against Women Commissioner -Labour

o Remove unfair Employment Tribunal fees to stop discrimination Labour

o Work on improving LGBT and ethnic minority rights and treatment in society

o Protect the BBC and stop concentration of media ownership Green

2 Economy and employment

None of the parties recognise the indisputable fact that economic growth,
requiring ever more resources as it does, cannot be sustainable and
continue indefinitely on a finite planet.

Hence the policies proposed are variations on the theme of more and better,
whilst allowing for reduced inequality and more general prosperity.
o Green comes closest to working within planetary limits by aiming for an
economy to be innovative, collaborative, forward facing and for the benefit of
communities and the environment.
o LibDems recognise the lack of value in GDP measurements and suggest
instead a National Wellbeing Strategy covering all aspects of government
policy, including health, housing and the environment.


All parties aim to improve the national infrastructure by increasing rail and
broadband investment and investing in housing improvements to secure low
energy, warm dry homes for all.

Industrial strategy

All parties support improving economy of the regions, with the LibDems
majoring on this through actions such as northern infrastructure, increased
devolution, local fundraising and economic decision making, & assisting fossil
fuel areas to diversify into other industries.

o LibDems also aim for a wider range of business types including co-ops,
mutuals, etc, with all parties encouraging new business start-ups.

o Labour aims to improve the economy through a series of missions to address

the key challenges of our time by enabling actions such as skills and
infrastructure improvements, improved procurement and increased R & D.

Employment rights

All parties champion protecting the rights of workers and aim to reduce the pay
gap between the highest and lowest paid employees. All parties aim for
increased skills training especially in ICT and low carbon technologies.

The Greens suggest moving to a four day week and a Universal Basic Income.

Labour suggests that all public sector contracts should ensure fair and rigorous
adherence to high standards for employees and the environment.

3 Education

All parties agree on the need to increase funding for schools and improve
teachers conditions, as well as recognising that each child need individual
attention to their needs and that education quality must improve.

Increase funding for schools

o Increase schools budgets, reverse cuts, reduce class sizes

o Change unfair budget allocations

o Increase Early Years Pupil Premium, protect payments for disadvantaged


Schools Governance

o All schools to be democratically accountable via local authorities , including

appropriate controls

o Opposing any new selective schools

o Rule out state-funded profit-making schools and ensure that new schools
are built in areas where there is a need for new school places

o Ofsted to inspect both local authorities and academy chains

o abolish Ofsted- Green.


o All teachers to be fully qualified

o Increase and improve continuing professional development

o Reduce work loads by cutting bureaucracy and monitoring

o End 1% pay cap

o Give teachers more direct involvement in the curriculum


o Ensure that identification and support for special educational needs and
disabilities takes place early

o Include promoting wellbeing as a statutory duty of a school,

o Embed SEND into schools

o Free school meals for all primary school children

o Extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve childrens mental

health, and increase teacher training in mental health issues.

4 Energy

All parties agree on the need to move to a fossil free future to meet climate
change targets, which also creates large numbers of new jobs. They all oppose
fracking and support high levels of renewable energy and large programmes of
increased home energy efficiency.

All parties wish to encourage and enable high levels of community energy

o Change the regulation of the electricity and gas grids to enable public control
and their eventual nationalisation; support publicly owned local energy
companies and enable local ownership of the grid- Labour

o Encourage small-scale, community and local-authority renewable schemes-


o Invest in community owned energy- Green

Stop subsidies to fossil fuels and new nuclear

o Yes LibDem, Green

o Support more nuclear, safeguard North Sea assets- Labour

Expand renewables

o 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030- LibDem

o Restore assistance to solar and onshore wind

o Support tidal and other new RE plus enabling technologies such as smart
grid, hydrogen, and carbon capture & storage

Energy efficiency

All parties agree on a large increase in home insulation and buildings energy
efficiency, with programmes to reach all or a high proportion of homes.

o Interest-free loans to householders and landlords- Labour

o At least four million homes to have increased energy efficiency by 2022-


o Major programme of new Zero Carbon homes Green

o Make energy saving a major infrastructure priority Green, LibDem

o All new homes to be Zero Carbon LibDem

5 Environment and climate change

5.1 Climate change

The science suggests that we need a world of zero carbon within four
years or less to stop the present built in overshoot of +1.50 C going much
beyond this point to well over +20 C, both of which are dangerous.

The parties have not yet grasped this fact and their proposals are:-

o Act to require emissions reduction of 80% by 2040, Zero Carbon by 2050


o Well below 2 degrees- ongoing Green

o Get back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act (which
requires 80% reduction by 2050) and the Paris Agreement (actual signed
national commitments mean +30 C) Labour

5.2 Natural Environment

All parties agree on the need for wider access and stronger protection for the
natural environment including increased biodiversity, sustainable food
production and increased protective no take zones in our seas. All parties

intend to plant many more trees and also to ban neonicotinoids as they harm
bees. Reduce plastic and other waste

All parties intend to introduce actions to reduce air pollution and

reduce/eliminate the present 40,000pa air pollution deaths.

o More use of rail, retrofit diesel buses to higher standards, increase cycling

o Scrappage scheme for diesel vehicles, increase ultra-low emissions zones

in more locations, all taxis and buses ultra-low emissions in five years ,
encourage electric and lower emission vehicles and develop EV
infrastructure - LibDem

o Fine cheating car manufacturers, increase mandatory clean air zone

network - Green

6 Financial system

All parties agree on the need to balance the books and create a fair tax system
for a sustainable future for everyone.

o Balance the books within a short time, only spend more than income for long
term infrastructure investments

o Remove distortions, loopholes and excessive reliefs with tough action and
tax transparency

o Taxes to be progressive so that richer people and companies pay

proportionally more than poorer people and smaller companies

o Greens commit to the Financial Transaction/Robin Hood Tax

o Review of taxation and government spending for intergenerational fairness


All parties are committed to changing the banking system to enable a diverse,
local system which supports inclusive growth, local lending and infrastructure
investment for the future in each region/community.

o British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to mobilise investment

into the low-carbon and sustainable infrastructure needed LibDem

o Royal Bank of Scotland, government owned at present, to become a
network of local peoples banks for every city and region, to lend locally and
provide cheap basic banking services- Green
o Set up a National Investment Bank that will bring in private capital finance
and support a network of regional development banks dedicated to
supporting inclusive growth in their communities.- Labour

7 Health

o privatisation, funding, governance

All parties agree that large extra funding is required for the NHS. Green and
Labour aim to roll back privatisation, LibDem silent on this issue.

LibDem and Labour agree that an Office of Budget Responsibility for health and
social care should be set up to review and manage budgets, with the aim of
integrating care and reducing perverse incentives by funding integrated

o integration of mental and physical health and social care

All parties agree this must be done as soon as practical, with fully integrated
services and mental health receiving equal treatment and status. All agree that
health care should be provided close to home, and access to a GP must be
improved and all suggest extra funding to achieve this.

o public health

All parties lay emphasis on improving health in the general public with a range
of measures such as action on childhood obesity, a sugar tax, developing a
National Wellbeing Strategy, alcohol pricing. Increasing emphasis on
empowering individuals to better look after their own health.

o staff

All parties agree that NHS staff should be the best trained in the world, that
whistleblowers must be supported and that the pay cap must be scrapped. Also
the rights of EU nationals in the NHS should be guaranteed.

8 Housing

All parties aim to enable everyone to have a safe, affordable, warm and secure


o Abolish bedroom tax Green and Labour LibDem silent on this

o More security of tenure for council house tenants, of three years or more

o Living rent for all

o Give tenants a voice

o Improve tenants protection against rogue landlords

o Ensure all tenanted property is fit for purpose

Council/Housing Association housing

o End right to buy at discounted values

o Allow councils and Housing Associations to directly build more houses for
affordable rent or sale

Housing numbers and standards

o Restore Zero Carbon standard for all new house building

o Increase new homes built

o 10 new garden cities LibDem

o prioritise brownfield sites, protect the Green Belt, new generation of New
Towns Labour

o consult on minimum space standards Labour

Rough sleeping

o Give more support to rough sleepers to end this

o Benefits

o Restore housing benefit for 18-21 year olds