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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 AvatarRichard Underhill 11th Dec - 10:47am
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000697
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 11th Dec - 10:09am
    There is nothing wrong with having a policy that at least half of UK would love to happen ie the continued involvement with the EU....
  • User AvatarManfarang 11th Dec - 9:53am
    Peter Hirst What makes you think Britons living abroad cease to have contact with the UK? I was in the UK last month and what...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Dec - 9:42am
    ‘The Liberal Democrats’ moderate message, with its admirable position on electoral reform, is compromised by the fantasy of revoking Brexit’ - Guardian editorial 11/12/19 What...
  • User Avatarfrankie 11th Dec - 7:36am
    Well of to Cheadle I must go. Wife is not happy apparently I should spend my leave with her not delivering leaflets.
  • User AvatarMichael BG 11th Dec - 2:30am
    James Baillie, Our policy is to “introduce a pilot scheme that involve(s) an unconditional payment of the standard Universal Credit allowance (currently £319 per month...
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