The economy is, without doubt, on the road to recovery.
Today’s GDP figures offer yet more positive signs. It proves the Coalition Government made the right calls to put us back on track. And, make no mistake, the recovery would not be happening without Liberal Democrats in Government. It is thanks to policies delivered by Lib Dem ministers that businesses are gaining confidence to invest and more people are back in work.
Where to start? How about the 1.5 million apprenticeships created under our watch. Maybe the millions of workers who will benefit from a £700 tax cut, or more than two million people who won’t pay income tax at all. And that is before we have mentioned the Regional Growth Fund, which is ensuring the recovery is not fenced off in London and the South East. Meanwhile, a string of City Deals (including Preston) have been signed off inspiring huge transformations across the UK – with more to come.
The Conservatives may be quick to claim credit, but I have no doubt they would not have given us a fair recovery. Liberal Democrats have blocked Tory plans to allow bosses to fire staff at will and introduce regional pay. Instead, we are anchoring Britain in the centre ground and strengthening the economy.
But we cannot afford to be complacent in the slightest.
People are still struggling to pay bills and face a daily grind to improve life for their families. So, the focus must now be on bolstering the economy and making sure this recovery is sustainable. And it is only the Liberal Democrats who will continue to ensure nobody is left behind.
In 2010, we could have hidden away in a corner, but instead took a tough decision to form a coalition at a time of economic crisis. People said we wouldn’t have the stomach for the fight, they said we couldn’t take big decisions, they were wrong.
And because of that I am proud to say today we are delivering a stronger economy, and a fairer society.