Recent polls have led some to talk of hung parliaments and the possibility of the Liberal Democrats entering into government with either Labour or the Conservatives. Before we get carried away by thoughts of ‘progressive movements’ or ‘coalitions of the Left’, we ought to take a long, hard look at some of the Lib Dems’ key policy commitments.
The Labour government’s “baby bond”, Child Trust Fund (CTF) is one key policy that the Lib Dems constantly state they would abolish. The Lib Dems have constantly criticised the policy, disparaging it as a gimmick and as a waste of money. They want to abolish the CTF and divert the money to other policies (usually throwing in a vague comment about early years intervention, or university tuition fees). This narrow approach ignores the enormous benefits of asset-based welfare and summarily dismisses a wide range of evidence which shows the beneficial role assets like the CTF can play as young people move into adulthood.
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