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Vince: Only Lib Dems offer strategy for growth and prosperity

Earlier, we brought you a flavour of Vince’s big pre-Budget speech.  Here is the speech in full:

As Leader of the Liberal Democrats, it is one of my responsibilities to give a serious Lib Dem analysis of the economics around the Budget, and to present an alternative.

I have recently been returned to Parliament from exile.

One of my regrets, however, is that the previous competition between the parties on economic competence no longer exists.

The likes of Gordon Brown, George Osborne, Ed Balls and Oliver Letwin were all serious players and thinkers even if I often disagreed with them.

Now, the economy – pivotal still to people’s lives – has been relegated to the margins of political debate.

The June election produced minimal discussion of economic policy.

The Conservatives didn’t produce any economic numbers in their manifesto.

Labour did, but as the IFS caustically pointed out at the time, there was a strong element of fantasy.

My Party did much better than our rivals at the hands of the IFS and serious commentators at the FT and The Economist but few noticed. And, now, economic debate is drowned out by the politics of Brexit and an unstable government.

Yet this is an unusually important and difficult budget.

The Chancellor has foresworn the use of a second budget, traditionally used to correct the mistakes in the first.

And the potential for a massive, if unquantifiable, economic shock from an unsatisfactory deal – or, even, ‘no deal’ is palpable.

Brexit hangs over the forecasts.

The environment of radical uncertainty is already spooking business investment and depressing growth, including the growth in government revenue.

I want, then, to set out some analysis of where we are and some ideas for where the Liberal Democrats think Britain could and should go.

Our focus is on freeing up capital spending to build the homes and infrastructure the country needs, on reviving the NHS with a targeted injection of cash, and on giving a leg up to young people with a learning account as they begin their working lives.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDave Page 22nd May - 4:52pm
    Link to Colin Rosenstiel's copy (with apologies for typo in previous comment): http://www.rosenstiel.co.uk/aldc/commpol.htm
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 22nd May - 4:25pm
    It might be a good idea to download it; following Colin's sad demise, we don't know how long the Rosenstiel web site will last. [Note...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 22nd May - 4:08pm
    @ Katherine Pindar & the 6% was quickly followed by another 9% Can I appeal to everyone to either ignore Polls or look at them...
  • User AvatarDave Page 22nd May - 4:01pm
    "Theory and Practice of Community Politics" is pretty much my go-to book as a Lib Dem and I'd advise anybody read it (IIRC there's a...
  • User AvatarJennie 22nd May - 3:59pm
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  • User AvatarMichael 1 22nd May - 3:17pm
    @Katharine Pindar Obviously the most important thing we can all do is get down to Lewisham East (and I need to wean myself of LDV...