Clegg lambasts Labour and Tories

IN his New Year message, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg accuses the Government of getting Britain into an economic mess and lacking any “right ideas to get us out of it.

Graham Dines

IN his New Year message, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg accuses the Government of getting Britain into an economic mess and lacking any “right ideas to get us out of it.”

Mr Clegg adds: “The Conservatives want to do nothing - they wouldn't lift a finger to help.”

But he claims there is a path to recovery. “As the New Year starts, it's time to do things differently.

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Liberal Democrats will do things differently.

“We'll get practical help to families who are struggling - more money in their pockets with big, permanent and fair tax cuts. That way people will be able to afford the bills and get spending again.

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“And Liberal Democrats will put the economy back on track with a big, green investment programme.

Instead of wasting billions on a pointless VAT cut that makes little difference we would invest that money to cut your fuel bills, create thousands of jobs and deliver what our country needs for the future - warm homes, schools and hospitals, clean energy, public transport we can all be proud of.

“I know we can fix this economic mess Britain's in. If only we do things differently for once. Instead of making the same old mistakes the same old parties have made for generations.

“Both Labour and the Conservatives keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect something different to happen. They are parties of the past, prisoners of their own special interests.

Perhaps the greatest danger of today's recession is that it will mortgage the future of our children. We must prevent that happening.

“That's why in the first three months of this year, Liberal Democrats will be focusing on the help we can give to children and young families. Good quality childcare for every family, so children can flourish and mothers and fathers can get out to work - or to look for work - without worrying about the nursery or childminder fees.

“A pupil premium to provide extra funding for children from deprived backgrounds, to help raise standards for everyone.

“And we'll be unveiling a pledge to reduce infant class sizes to 15 - so every child gets the individual attention they need to do well at school, and get the best start in life.

“This is a time of crisis, and I know it's tough. But crisis can bring renewal. It brings change.”

Mr Clegg says: “Imagine a better Britain - where no-one is held back by their upbringing, everyone has the power to change things for the better, and anyone who struggles gets a helping hand. A Britain with fair taxes and safe, properly run banks - so that everyone who works hard can make it. A Britain that switches to green energy so the planet is protected for our children's future.

2009 must be a year of doing things differently. A year of hope. A year of real change. And that's what the Liberal Democrats offer.”

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