Nick Clegg has published his New Year message to party members. He highlights how the Liberal Democrats have introduced measures to make life easier and fairer for people, lifting nearly a million out of paying income tax altogether and cutting taxes for 23 million people. The Pupil Premium and better pensions.
He’s clear that 2012 will be another challenging year for the global economy and contrasts the UK’s relatively stable situation with the dramas in the Eurozone. He talks about the Government’s “economic rescue mission” continuing. He highlights measures put in place to rebalance the economy and invest in green technology. He continues with the “not easy but right” theme from this year’s Conference speech.
Here is the message in full.
This time last year I spoke about how the most important job for Liberal Democrats was dealing with the economic problems we inherited. 12 months on, that task remains the number one priority for our party and the Coalition.
We have had to make some very difficult decisions, but they’ve been the right ones for the long term good of our country.
But that economic rescue mission is not over yet. That’s why, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, the Coalition has been helping people get through these difficult times with measures to make life fairer and easier.
2011 was the year we lifted nearly a million low paid workers out of paying income tax altogether and cut taxes for 23m people – because I believe putting money back into people’s pockets makes all the difference.
It was the year more than a million children got a fairer start in life, with extra support at school through our Pupil Premium and free early years education for toddlers – because I believe that helping the youngest take their first steps in life makes all the difference.
It was the year we guaranteed pensioners a decent increase in their pension – because I believe dignity in retirement makes all the difference.
Throughout, we have taken big long-term decisions that will change the way our economy works for the better – rebalancing it away from the City of London towards stronger, more sustainable growth.
And next year we will do more. The world’s first Green Investment Bank putting millions into green jobs and growth; our youth contract to get every young person out of work earning or learning; more apprenticeships than this country has ever had before; and we will take further steps to make our tax system fairer too.
What we’re doing as a party, and as a Coalition, it’s not easy, but it’s right. We are putting the interests of the country first, and we have taken the first steps towards building a fairer, greener and more liberal country.
The next year will be one that poses many great challenges for everyone in Britain, but I know we must continue to do what’s right for our country.
And with that, I wish you all a very happy New Year.
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings