The Guardian summarises the ConDem (new term, and quite appropriate) deal as follows:
Liberal Democrat wins:
‚Ä¢ Referendum to bring in an alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force legislation for referendum through, but will be free to campaign against reforms before referendum.
‚Ä¢ New five-year fixed term parliaments, an entirely or mainly elected second chamber and a commission to review party funding. According to this plan, the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015.
‚Ä¢ Reduce tax burden on low earners. A substantial increase to personal tax allowance from April 2011 with a "long- term goal" of a £10,000 personal tax allowance. Tory plans to reduce inheritance tax that would have benefited the richest people most have been scrapped.
‚Ä¢ New pupil premium to be introduced, steering more funding to schools for every child they take from poor homes to help close class gap in school results.
‚Ä¢ £6bn cuts this financial year and a reversal of some planned rises in national insurance contributions.
‚Ä¢ A cap on immigration with Lib Dem plans for an amnesty on illegal immigration dumped.
‚Ä¢ School reforms to introduce more Swedish-style "free" schools.
‚Ä¢ A commitment to maintaining Britain's nuclear deterrent .
‚Ä¢ No proposals to join the euro and a referendum lock will ensure that any proposal to transfer new powers must by law be put to a referendum.
‚Ä¢ The Conservatives have kept their plan for a £150 marriage tax break. Lib Dems will abstain but not oppose this.
On the claimed LibDem wins:
- The school premium is good.
- The tax move a small step in the right direction.
- Alternative Vote is way, way too limited a reform. It only succeeds in blocking the worse Tory plans.
- Fixed term will come back to haunt this coalition.
But look at the Tory wins:
- Cuts will be rampant.
- The facile commitment to privatisation for an elite is symbolised by support for the schools that Sweden has abandoned because they do not work.
- The waste of Trident continues – utter folly.
- The tax commitment to married couples is simply offensive to those who make other, quite valid, lifestyle choices: a direct subsidy to the middle classes.
- And the Nasty Party won its way on immigration.
I woke up in the night and the reality of this situation flooded over me.
We’re in for a horrid time – but Mervyn King’s words echo in my ear – the winners of this election will not be re-elected for a generation. I continue to think he’s right.