Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Our central purpose: Getting the economy back on track”

by Stephen Tall on June 30, 2013

This week was the week of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Perhaps more importantly for the Coalition’s self-confidence was the erasure from the economic records of the double-dip recession. Nick’s letter this week is bullish about the Lib Dems’ record on the economy: “Creating jobs. Stopping the build up of Labour’s unsustainable debts. Getting the economy back on track”. It is also savage of Labour’s record, not just in government but their last three years in opposition, too: “They don’t have a credible economic plan and it’s no wonder people don’t trust them with their money.”

Combine this with Danny Alexander’s assault on Labour’s pensions policy and David Laws’ publication of that infamous hand-written note by Liam “there’s no money” Byrne, and it’s clear the party is upping the ante in taking the fight to Labour (ironically as Labour continues moving its position closer to the Lib Dems’).

Here’s Nick’s letter in full…

libdem letter from nick clegg

Money, jobs and investment dominated the agenda this week. On Wednesday, the chancellor set out details of the Spending Round: the last set of savings we will have to announce in this Parliament. On Thursday, Danny Alexander followed up by announcing massive new investment in our roads, rail, housing and infrastructure.

And the moment he was finished, I rushed down the road to talk with the leaders of some of Britain’s biggest cities about the next wave of “city deals”, devolving financial and economic power to our great urban and industrial hubs.

Creating jobs. Stopping the build up of Labour’s unsustainable debts. Getting the economy back on track. That’s the central purpose of this government: it was on the day we started and it will be right through to May 2015.

And what about Labour? For three years their central purpose has been to accuse Liberal Democrats of betrayal for our determination to tackle the deficit and rebalance the economy. And now? They’ve effectively admitted we were right: they wouldn’t reverse a single one of the cuts we have made. They finally accept that the difficult work we’ve done to set Britain back on the right path has been worth it.

So if you’ve been on the receiving end of attacks from Labour supporters over the last three years, now’s the time to fight back. They’re the ones who crashed our economy and racked up unaffordable debts. They don’t have a credible economic plan and it’s no wonder people don’t trust them with their money.

Labour want us to be embarrassed about our record in government, but they couldn’t be more wrong. We can be hugely proud of what we’re achieving.

Balancing the books and rebalancing the economy isn’t easy – especially not for the millions of families still struggling to adjust after the collapse of our financial system in 2008. We haven’t relished any of the difficult decisions we have had to take, but we know they were needed. Because even though progress is frustratingly slow sometimes, it is happening.

More than a million new jobs created, and a million apprenticeships started, too.

Tax cuts for every working person, with two million freed from paying any income tax at all. Better protections for pensioners, higher standards in our schools, and help for all those struggling to find work.

We need to get out there and explain that story to everyone we meet. Labour don’t have an alternative. They should be apologising to the country for the damage they did to the economy – and apologising to us for the brutal accusations they laid at our door while we were cleaning up their mess.

Liberal Democrats have done the right thing, in the national interest: cut taxes, created jobs and invested in Britain’s future. There are just two years until the next election so let’s stand up and be proud of what we’ve done.

Best wishes,

Nick Clegg

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* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.