Details of the agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were published today. Both parties have had to compromise but I believe the agreement implements most of the manifesto I stood on as well as the best of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. Specifically, it includes:
- a commitment to a significantly accelerated reduction in the budget deficit, cutting £6 billion of government waste in this financial year, and to the scrapping of Labour’s proposed tax on job;
- key elements of the reform agenda we outlined in our manifesto, including welfare and school reform;
- key priorities of the Liberal Democrats such as fairer funding in education, a fairer tax system and political reform - including a referendum on changing the voting system to the alternative vote.
Importantly, it does not include Liberal Democrat proposals for an amnesty for illegal immigrants nor the handover of any additional powers to the EU.
But the past few days have not just been about compromise. What was clear as the negotiations progressed is the amount of common ground between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on issues such as building a green economy, decentralising power and protecting civil liberties - including scrapping ID cards.
I believe that the coming together of two political parties to form one strong government marks a new era for Britain and for British politics and I will do everything in my power to help make it work but I am keen to hear your views – let me know what you think.