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Liberal Democrats’ manifesto comments: Social care, tax policy and pensions


If you’re covering the social care, tax policy and pension proposals in the Liberal Democratic manifesto please see the following comments from Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert  and Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter.

Rachael GriffinRachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter:

Social care

"In many respects social care policy dictated the outcome of the last election. Unfavourable, or more importantly, unclear policies around social care have the capacity to bring a party to its knees. Conscious of this, the Liberal Democrats haven’t proposed a solution to who qualifies for care and how much. However, they have proposed to introduce a cap on care. A care cap has been bandied about by politicians for years. The issue is how to make a simple cap that is sustainable and with the manifesto light on detail it’s difficult to see if the Lib Dems have actually found a solution to that.

"They also proposed a ring-fenced tax to fund the NHS and social care and sensibly recommended the systems be integrated. This is crucial as at the moment the responsibility and allowances for social care are confusingly split across several different bodies.

"Social care policy must be delivered and it must be made with the agreement of both parties so people have certainty that it will not change within a few months and so their proposal of a cross-party health and social care convention is long overdue"


"Inheritance tax is a noticeable omission from the manifesto. Just a year ago Vince Cable proposed scrapping inheritance tax and replacing it with a new levy on gifts worth more than £3,000, charged at the same rate as the giver's income tax liability. However, there is not a single mention of inheritance tax in Swinson’s manifesto.  With both the Tory and Labour leaders being quite outspoken on the issue it is perhaps sensible for the party to dodge the controversial issue. Keeping their head below the parapet means they can avoid alienating either the grey or the young vote.

"However, it’s not an issue that can be ignored as it is a fiendishly complex system of taxation.

"There were some surprises in the manifesto when it came to tax, including rescinding the capital gains tax allowance with capital gains to be treated as income and abolishing the marriage allowance.  The marriage tax allowance lets people transfer £1,250 of the personal allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. It is often the case that one partner earns more than others and so scrapping the allowance will impact many couples and the manifesto lacks a rationale for their thought process."


Jon GreerJon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter:


“The Lib Dems promises on pensions are awfully vague and suggest they are bereft of ideas on how to affect policy in this area. They give a vague assurance they will act on the pensions crisis that is crippling the NHS, but again offer no solution when it is clear the tapered annual allowance is not fit for purpose. The same can be said about ‘addressing inequalities in pensions law for those in same-sex relationships.’

“Policies on which they are sure on, for example retaining the triple lock and providing compensation for women born in the 1950s, are completely unsustainable in the current economic climate and the Lib Dems offer no indication of how much it will cost. The Waspi case flies in the face of the recent court ruling, while the triple lock promise is contrary to the official review by the Work and Pensions Committee. 

“The one area of policy that does seem to be well-thought it is with the classification of workers in the so called ‘gig economy.’ Establishing a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status and entitling workers to basic rights could help introduce swathes of people into the world of pension saving, while ensuring they also pay the correct tax and National Insurance contributions should result in money not being pilfered unnecessarily by HMRC.

“However, they fall back into the trap of not offering any real solutions, saying they will review ‘rules concerning pensions so that those in the gig economy don’t lose out’, but fail to say if this will include extending auto-enrolment.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990
Gregor Davidson020 7002 716407917

Notes to Editors:

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