In a post here on Wednesday I mentioned Nick Clegg's speech at the National Liberal Club, marking the first anniversary of the coalition government. As part of that speech he discussed what he sees as some of the challenges for the party and for coalition government in the next few years as well as listing some of the Liberal Democrat successes achieved so far.
Many of these have already been mentioned on this blog, but here is a list of the things Nick chose to highlight in his speech:
"...cutting income tax for ordinary taxpayers
ending child detention
increasing the state pension
introducing free nursery education for disadvantaged 2 year olds
adding a quarter of a million apprenticeships
increasing tax on capital gains
reining in the banks
creating a Green Investment Bank and a green deal
getting more money into schools to help poorer pupils."
"But we also needed a Government willing to embark on the long-term changes necessary to fix the economy for the future. Short-term repair and long-term reform: that’s the Liberal Democrat economic agenda in government.
The Liberal Democrats were in the lead in identifying what was wrong with the economy long before the last election. The dangers of the deficit, for one: in fact I remember being criticised for warning of the depth of the cuts that would be required.
But we have also been warning for years about the way in which the economy had become dangerously lopsided; too reliant on London and the South East; pumped up on private and public debt; at the mercy of an under-regulated banking sector; and struggling with a creaking infrastructure.
It is this Liberal Democrat analysis of what is wrong with the economy that underpins the Government’s approach to putting it right.
Reform of the banking system. A Regional Growth Fund to support businesses across the nation. A Green Investment Bank to build the green infrastructure needed to cut carbon emissions.
In short, a rewiring of the economy to ensure sustainable, balanced growth."