Gordon Brown’s response to the economic crisis has been too little, too late.
For years I warned him of the oncoming economic problems. Unsustainable levels of personal debt, mostly secured against the illusory ‘wealth’ of rising, vastly inflated property prices. An economy based so heavily on debt was never going to be in a fit state to deal with global shocks like the credit crunch.
And so it has proved. Gordon Brown is now facing the consequences of his years of inaction. The housing bubble has burst. Unemployment is rising fast. Tens of thousands of families are losing their homes.
With people struggling with massive debts and fast rising bills it is now almost inevitable that the UK is heading for recession. Gordon Brown used to boast we were better prepared than our competitors for a downturn. Yet the OECD’s respected economic forecasters now predict we will fare worst among the world’s seven leading economies (G7) in the current crisis.
What Britain needs now, and urgently, is practical action to help people who are struggling – to put money back in their pockets, to cut their energy bills, and help them keep their homes.
Gordon Brown and Labour can’t offer that. They got us into this mess. Now they are veering between complacency and panic. Dithering on key decisions, muddling along on half measures.
David Cameron and the Conservatives won’t offer it. At a time when those on the breadline are struggling more than for a generation, their top priority is tax cuts for millionaires.
It’s not good enough to just keep muddling along and hoping.
We need a serious plan to get Britain’s economy up and running again.
That is why Nick Clegg and I have put together the Liberal Democrat Fairer Future Economic Recovery Plan.
Our plan would:
- Put more money in people’s pockets – tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes,
- Stop unnecessary home repossessions and provide more affordable housing,
- Make energy companies reinvest their windfall profits in cutting bills, and
- Deliver extra help for people in debt or who lose their jobs.
And we will bring the free-wheeling, ‘anything goes’ short-termism of the City to an end. We cannot continue with a culture where bankers pocket big bonuses for taking reckless risks, but when things go wrong government and taxpayers have to step in to pick up the pieces.
Please read the summary of the plan, and share it with other people you know.
There is only one party in Britain today with a serious and credible plan to get Britain’s economy back on its feet – and to provide real help to those struggling in the meantime.
That is the Liberal Democrats.