Children deserve the best start in life regardless of their background, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Lichfield and Burntwood has stressed.
Paul Ray will represent the party on May 7 and he believes the work they did as part of the coalition government should not be forgotten.
“We have protected school budgets from cuts the Tories wanted to impose, created the Pupil Premium which has seen an extra £2.5 billion a year put into education to support children from the poorest homes to ensure they don’t fall behind.
“And Lichfield & Burntwood schools have benefitted by an extra £6.3million since 2010.
“We have also provided 15 hours of free childcare for three-year-olds and 40 per cent of two-year-olds.”
Mr Ray added that the Liberal Democrats are keen to continue their work to create an even playing field for all youngsters.
“The Pupil Premium in particular has been a great success,” he said. “It has helped ensure children from poorer backgrounds do not fall behind at school.
“This is all part of building a fairer society.
“If we are in Government after the election, we want to go further. We will provide 15 hours a week of free childcare to all children of working parents aged between nine months and two years.
“We believe that education is an absolute priority and so will protect spending on nurseries, schools and colleges – the Conservatives and Labour have not made that commitment.
“The Liberal Democrats will also ensure every child is taught by a qualified teacher.
“We have set out how we will fund these commitments – by raising taxes on the wealthiest and by an increased levy on the banks. Labour’s spending commitments involve additional borrowings of £70billion and the Conservatives will make cuts of £50billion more than we would.”
The candidates standing in the Lichfield constituency in May are:
- Andy Bennetts – Class War
- Michael Fabricant – Conservatives
- Robert Pass – Green Party
- John Rackham – UKIP
- Paul Ray – Lib Dem
- Chris Worsey – Labour