Nick Clegg MP writes…The recovery would not be happening without us

This morning we’ve seen yet more proof that the economy is firmly on the path to recovery. Growth is returning, with today’s figures showing the longest period of growth since 2007. We’ve also had good news on jobs – with youth unemployment down, jobs outside of London up and a surge in new full time jobs.

In Government we’re clearing up Labour’s mess. Here are four reasons why it would not be happening without the Liberal Democrats.

1. Our decision to go into coalition gave Britain the stable government needed to get the country through these difficult times. Despite the endless clamour to change course on our economic strategy, we held our nerve and resisted calls for a Plan B – and it’s paying off.

2. We have insisted that the government’s economic strategy is about more than making cuts. As important as it is to pay off the deficit, you also need to invest in the things that drive growth – like infrastructure, apprenticeships and businesses across Britain.

3. We have put money back in people’s pockets. The Liberal Democrats have already delivered a £600 Income Tax cut for 24.5 million people.

4. We are fighting to keep Britain an open and trading nation. By arguing loudly and passionately that we should remain in the EU, the Liberal Democrats are showing foreign investors that there is a party determined to make sure Britain doesn’t turn its back on the world.

So don’t let anyone say this is the Conservatives’ recovery – it wouldn’t be happening without the Liberal Democrats.

* Nick Clegg is the MP for Sheffield Hallam

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14 Comments

  • Andrew Whyte 28th Jan '14 - 4:54pm

    It’s one thing preaching to the converted, but we really need to be doing more to expose Labours push me pull you, volte face policies NOW, compared to when they were in power.

    The “cost of living crisis” predates the coalition – Labour enabled the energy companies, ALLOWED the banks to create the 125% mortgage and other “innovative” products that caused the crash, fuel duty escalator etc etc, and never let us forget the PFI debacle that is causing so many problems in the NHS right now – we shouldn’t be giving them such a free ride on these key components of our continuing problems.

    For every coalition cock up, there is a Labour NHS IT, Fire Control, 10p tax band cut, 24 hour licensing that consumes so much police time, not to mention control orders and ID cards, oh and a couple of ill judged/illegal wars.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Jan '14 - 5:36pm

    I support and heed the message.

  • Surely recoveries always happen, except under the most extreme forms of woeful policy. Markets are resilient in nature. You can’t take credit for for a recovery just because you were there to welcome it’s arrival.
    You can take credit for the way wealth has been redistributed in that time, although that might not be in your favour.
    More needs to be done in addressing growing wealth inequality. Congratulations on raising the lower tax threshold. It is one step in a very long march to greater equality.
    4 years in: stop Labour bashing and start distinguishing your self from the conservatives. You are in a coalition, you are not in the conservatives.

  • Well I for one, am more than willing to say that this “Recovery” is a 100% Conservative planned and implemented. The LibDems simply (and usefully) supplied the Parliamentary numbers to get the measures implemented. We have a Conservative government in all but name. The Liberal Democrat Leaders (as distinct from the Party and its voters) are politically pretty indistinguishable from their Conservative colleagues, a situation that has resulted in huge LibDem electoral losses in Local Elections, and, in my opinion, will result in big Parliamentary losses in 2015.

  • The first part of point one is correct, we have provided stable government. The second part and the paying off the deficit are problematic. Yes we have agreed to these things as part of the coalition agreement but we should make clear we had to compromise on them. Our own economic policy would have been different. I expect we can all agree with points 3 and 4.

    Nick still needs to learn to differentiate us from the Conservatives over economic policies. I expect the reason he can’t is because he is an economic liberal and agrees that making cuts to reduce the deficit was the right policy rather than what we had in our manifesto.

  • Amalric – the deficit has been reduced; debt is still increasing, along with the associated interest payments. Which means less to invest.

  • Andrew Colman 29th Jan '14 - 7:47am

    Yes , some progress has been made

    However, the UK economy is still over-reliant on credit and the help to buy scheme could make this worse.

    In contrast, wages for all but the top 10% are very low and held down by policies such as the public sector pay freeze. We need to push wages up through raising the minimum wage and cancelling national pay freezes to create real (non credit related) demand. This should be funded by much stricter curbs on using tax havens, introduction of a land value tax and an end to higher rate tax relief except perhaps for charitable giving.

  • I wish that Mr Clegg had not gone back on some of his promises. We have lost a great amount of credibility with the public because of it. Student fees and EU referendum are two prominent examples. It is hard work rebuilding trust once it is lost.

    Allowing sex scandals to fester also does not help.

  • @ DaveN

    “Well I for one, am more than willing to say that this “Recovery” is a 100% Conservative planned and implemented.”

    No. Totally wrong. It isn’t.

    The Tories on their own would have cut overall taxes for the rich and not for the poor at all. They would have killed any infrastructure investment, cut benefits far harder and axed public spending far more. Overall, they would have created a much worse situation for internal demand, which really would have led to a double dip.

    This is a Coalition recovery and would be even faster if we had even more Lib Dem policies put into action on a greater scale.

    We’ve got a great narrative for how we want the future of the recovery to be shaped (investment in training, the regions, green energy etc.), we just need to have confidence in it and go out and tell the voters, most of whom have yet to hear our message.

  • @ Andrew Colman

    “We need to push wages up through raising the minimum wage and cancelling national pay freezes to create real (non credit related) demand.”

    The only national wage freezes the government has any power over is those for the 20% of us who work in the public sector. If wages go up, so will government borrowing, so how is that “non credit related”?

  • Bill le Breton 29th Jan '14 - 9:03am

    5. We have in Vince Cable the best economist in the House of Commons. His speech two days ago to the Royal Economic Society (here, https://www.libdemvoice.org/a-longer-read-vince-cable-on-recovery-and-beyond-37988.html ) was a masterful development our distinctive Liberal Democrat thinking on what is required to embed the recovery. I have asked my colleague David Laws to ensure it provides the backbone of our manifesto. I for one will do all in my power within the Coalition leadership to ensure it shapes the direction of Coalition economic policy over the remaining 15 months before the election. (WISH)

  • Melanie Harvey 29th Jan '14 - 2:21pm

    And now Mr Alexander needs to ensure we are seen as the party who can get further ahead alone.

  • @ Tabman
    Amalric – the deficit has been reduced; debt is still increasing, along with the associated interest payments. Which means less to invest
    If our economic policy had been implemented the deficit may have been reduced less but economic growth would have been higher. The Bank Rate has not changed during this government. The reduction plan cut investment.

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