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How Lib Dems would help young people from nursery to jobs and first home

May 18, 2017 8:01 AM

School gateKickstarting education


Nearly 1400 3-4 year-olds in Newcastle would benefit from Liberal Democrat plans to triple funding for the early years pupil premium, with gives extra cash to nurseries, preschools and school receptions when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year - up from £302 in 2015-16.

This will reverse Tory cuts, increasing the allocation for Newcastle City Council from around £400,000 to £1.2 million, and will pay for every disadvantaged child who benefits to receive 570 hours of state-funded early education.

It forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are focusing on giving children and young people a brighter future.

These include:

  • Helping people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of 'Rent to Own' homes
  • Restoring housing benefit for young people
  • Creating a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds, giving a 66% discount
  • Introducing votes at 16 for elections and referendums across the UK

As well as:

  • Investing almost £7bn in our schools and colleges nationwide
  • Doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships
  • Tripling the early years pupil premium
  • Extending free school meals to all primary school students


Liberal Democrat Dr Nick Cott (parliamentary candidate for Newcastle East) commented:

"We will give children right across Newcastle a brighter future, by investing in those from more disadvantaged backgrounds to give them the best possible start in life.

"This forms part of a package to build a fairer Britain and ensure no child or young person is left behind.

"The Liberal Democrats will provide a strong opposition to this Conservative government and stand up against cuts to local schools, hospitals and regional funding.

"A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a brighter future for people across the City."

"Jeremy Corbyn's Labour has let people in Newcastle down by voting with Theresa May and UKIP on Brexit.

"The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May and give the people the final say on Brexit, with the choice to remain in Europe if they don't like the deal on offer."


Tripling the early years Pupil Premium
The Liberal Democrats will increase the early years pupil premium - which gives early years settings extra money when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds - to £1,000 per pupil per year - this is up from £302 in 2015-16. This will pay for every disadvantaged child who took up their full entitlement to 570 hours of state-funded early education.

Rent to Own
The Liberal Democrats will help working people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of 'Rent to Own' homes, where each monthly payment steadily buys you a share in the home, which you'll own outright after 30 years, just like with a normal mortgage. This proposal is part of our plans to deliver 300,000 homes a year with government commissioning homes to fill the gap between private sector building and demand.

Restoring housing benefit for young people
The Liberal Democrats would restore Housing Benefit for 18-21 year-olds. Research by the Liberal Democrats has shown an estimated 18,000 young people will be potentially hit by the government's decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, which came into force in the beginning of April. Charities have warned the change could increase levels of homelessness amongst young people.

Young person's bus pass
The Liberal Democrats will introduce a discount bus pass available to all young people aged between 16 and 21 who are ordinarily resident in England. The bus pass will grant the holder a 66% discount off a single or return ticket on local bus services. Bus companies will be allowed to add their own discounts on top of that. The scheme would be implemented using the same mechanism as the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (the over-60s free bus pass).

Votes at 16
The Liberal Democrats will introduce votes at age 16 for elections and referendums across the UK, and make it easier to register to vote in schools and colleges. At 16 people are subject to all the laws of the land, pay taxes, can become a company director, get married, join the army and in many regards act as full members of society. It is right they get a vote at election time.

Investing £7bn in our schools and colleges

The Liberal Democrats will reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets by protecting per pupil funding in real terms and introduce a fairer national funding system, which includes protection so that no school loses out.


Doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships

We will aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices, including by extending apprenticeships to new sectors of our economy, like creative and digital industries. As part of raising the number, and quality of apprenticeships, we will ensure that all the receipts from the Apprenticeship Levy in England are spent on training, aiming to fund a wider range of types of training.


Extending free school meals to all primary school students

The Liberal Democrats will extend free school meals to all children in primary education and promote school breakfast clubs. Liberal Democrats in government already introduced free school meals for all infant school pupils - now we will go one step further and extend this scheme to all primary school pupils, as resources allow. This will ensure every primary pupil gets a healthy meal in the middle of the school day - boosting their education, health and saving parents money.