Q: There are quite a few claims that the manifesto talks about all cars becoming electric with 80% renewable energy. However, political parties are scarce on describing how they will meet this claim. What is the strategy for green energy research, application and electric car infrastructure implementation? Jordan Bizzell, 24, architectural assistant, London
On the subject of renewable energy, the party does have some ambitious plans to shift to more sustainable sources, as well as energy-saving measures such as home insulation. It’s arguably not as ambitious as the Labour “green industrial revolution” plan, let alone that of the Greens (who came up with the green new deal concept), and credibility for such programmes can be debated. One issue is that it is sometimes hard to tell how well new energy mixes will work before they’re in place. For example, there was huge scepticism in the past about the cost and reliability of wind power … until wind power ended up being cheaper and more reliable than many said.
The party says all new cars should be electric by 2030, but also wants to invest more in public transport and active travel (walking and cycling, that is). E-car infrastructure is a tricky business in general, not least for people who don’t have driveways and need on-street charging. Entirely off the subject of the Lib Dems and on to my own interests, it’s worth noting that while e-cars are, of course, much better than, say, diesel ones, they don’t solve lots of other issues such as congestion, road danger, health issues from inactive lifestyles and so on. They don’t even solve all pollution problems, given new research into the problems caused by particulates from tyre and brake wear. But I digress.
Q: What is the thinking behind ‘help to rent’? Wouldn’t it just make renters such as myself poorer and more burdened with debt? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to limit the size of deposits? Nathaniel McKenzie, 26, publisher, London
On the assumption you mean the “rent to own” idea, this seems to be an idea to help people be able to buy a home – but only if they want to. This would be for social housing, letting people who cannot afford to raise a deposit to buy a property instead buy their social home over 30 years, by letting their rent payments gradually pay off the cost of the home. This is, of course, in part a long-term help-to-buy scheme, which would deplete the stock of social housing, But the party says it would build at least 100,000 new social rent homes every year.