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LIBERAL DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY ON EDUCATION, SAY TORIES

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Commenting on the Liberal Democrats'£1.75bn 'Books Pledge' for schools, Alan Duncan, a member of the Conservative...
Commenting on the Liberal Democrats'£1.75bn 'Books Pledge' for schools, Alan Duncan, a member of the Conservative Campaign team, said:

'The Liberal Democrats' pledge to increase spending on education is a fraud.

'They say that they would increase the amount of money available for books and equipment in schools.

'But, in reality, there is no guarantee that this money would ever find its way into a classroom.

'One day, Charles Kennedy can say that there have been 'great arguments... whether or not money should be ring-fenced (ie earmarked for a specific purpose)... that is an element of compulsion that nobody likes' and 'you have got to trust local authorities to... use that money wisely'. (Election Call, 10th April 1997)

'Yet, only three days later, Paddy Ashdown said that 'ring-fenced is a perfectly adequate description of it'. (The Dimbleby Programme, 13th April 1997)

'In reality, there is no guarantee at all that the money which the Liberal Democrats would get from raising taxes would be spent by local authorities on the Liberal Democrats' education pledges.

'It is quite clear that the Liberal Democrats are more interested in cooking the books than in making sure that children can read them.'

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