Clegg defends Coalition: “We inherited from Labour an economy teetering on the edge”

Nick Clegg was interviewed while on the campaign trail in Lewes today for Channel 4 News by Gary Gibbon — here’s a 6-minute excerpt in which Nick explains the steps the Coalition has taken to rescue the economy since 2010:

(You can watch it on the Channel 4 News website here.)

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  • The coalition policy has been a categorical disaster; and the flat-out lie that they “could do nothing else” is embarrassing. You can see how effective by looking at any graph comparing UK growth during this recession to the US, or comparing UK growth in this recession to previous recessions. The pattern is broadly similar until the coalition took power and tanked the economy and then failed to change course in the face of the eurozone problems.

    The fantasy that this is all Labour’s fault is getting tired.

  • Peter Watson 1st May '13 - 9:40pm

    I can’t resist …
    “We inherited from Labour an economy teetering on the edge” and then took a great step forwards.

  • Helen Tedcastle 1st May '13 - 10:33pm

    ” “We inherited from Labour an economy teetering on the edge” and decided to keep Trident anyway and introduce new nuclear power stations and privatise state education etc etc…

  • Well, to begin with, I wouldn’t start from here. The coalition have already wrought untold damage on the economy. As for what to do, well, read along with Krugman and remember that we’re nothing like France – ironically, mostly because we haven’t joined the Euro, which is something I, and the LibDems, long advocated.

  • Colin Strong 1st May '13 - 11:10pm

    @Simon Shaw
    One alternative would have been to allow Councils to build Council/Social Housing (and give them to local Housing Associations or not as the case may be). Councils would have raised the money by selling bonds at a peppercorn rate of interest. Let’s say £50,000 million (£50bn).

    The bonds would have been bought by the Bank of England through Quantitative Easing(QE). Recall that so far the Bank of England has committed to buy Gilts (Government Bonds) through QE to the tune of £375,000 million (£375bn).

    This country is desperate for good, social housing. The construction industry would have been kick started and the economy could now be growing rather than bumping along at
    0 to 0.5% growth. But no.

    Complete failure from Labour and then the Conservative & Lib Dem coalition.

  • The really sad thing is that the Lib Dems put forward the really good idea of putting stimulus money in the form of green improvements into the economy and backed a more delayed austerity policy before the election but decided to bury their own economic vision in the coalition agreement. Pumping money into energy efficiency would have been provided the kind of investment the economy badly needed whilst also providing long term benefits to all.

  • Daniel Henry 2nd May '13 - 10:28am

    I agree with Jack.
    In our manifesto we specifically said that pre-mature austerity might damage the recovery and therefore we were going to delay the cuts until the economy was secure.

    I wish we’d stuck to it.

  • When does this tiresome and generic argument expire?

  • Tony Dawson 2nd May '13 - 1:59pm

    @Peter Watson:

    “We inherited from Labour an economy teetering on the edge” and then took a great step forwards.”

    A great LEAP forward, surely? 😉

  • A Social Liberal 3rd May '13 - 2:24pm

    Before the election Vince Cable said that the rate of austerity that the Tories proposed was dangerous to the country. Before the last election we said that the proposed VAT rise to 20% would be dangerous to the country.
    Post election . . . . .
    Chris Huhne said on Question Time that Lib Dems changed their minds about austerity after they found out the true state of the economy. Alistair Campbell said in no uncertain terms that this was not true, that the figures were published and in the Commons library. Huhne conceded the point by his silence.

    On the other hand, no one has tried explaining why the rise in VAT is no longer a bombshell. Noone has tried to explain why social housing is not being built

  • A Social Liberal 3rd May '13 - 2:25pm

    Dan Falchikov

    Those were Llib Dem cuts, not the deeper artery slashing cuts of Tory austerity

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