Monday, 27 April 2015


Liberal Democrats have said that the next Government must increase spending on nurseries,schools and colleges.  The Liberal Democrats would not enter coalition with any party that does not agree to protect per pupil funding from nursery to 19, in real terms by the end of the parliament.

This is the equivalent to £5.2bn more funding than the Conservatives and £2.5bn more than Labour.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said:  “A Liberal Democrat red line – a pre-condition for Government – is increasing spending on education. The Liberal Democrats will not allow our children and grandchildren to pay the price of this generation’s mistakes.

“We believe above all else in spreading opportunity, in tearing down the barriers that stop people from reaching their potential. Nothing is more crucial to that than education. So the next Government must increase spending on nurseries, schools and colleges. That means education spending must rise with both prices and pupil numbers.  Without investment in education, there can be no deal with the Liberal Democrats."

Funding is currently protected for children aged between five and 16 but Liberal Democrats would ring fence education spending for two to 19-year-olds per pupil in real terms.  This is compared to Tory plans which would see cuts equivalent to removing four starter salary teachers in every school in Britain.

In 2010 the Lib Dems put the Pupil Premium on the front page of the manifesto. This has helped children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds keep up with their better off classmates.

Sunday, 26 April 2015


There has been much talk of green issues at this election and I trust that is due to the work of Liberal Democrats in government fighting the Tories tooth and nail to make the coalition the greenest government ever. In the past five years we have:
  • Secured £37bn investment in renewable electricity
  • Established the world's first Green Investment Bank
  • Led Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target
  • Planted over 1 million trees
  • Insulated 1m homes in two years
  • Cut £50 off household energy bills and boosted competition, with small suppliers now supplying 10% of the market
Today, we launched our Environment Manifesto and business leaders, investors and philanthropists have backed our green economy vision. The letter in the Independent praises the Lib Dem record in Government and emphasises the need for them to be part of the next Government. It highlights how the Lib Dems have delivered on the green agenda since 2010.

The letter notes that these achievements were made in the face of almost daily battles with Conservative opponents on everything from onshore wind to keeping climate change in the geography curriculum.

The Liberal Democrat Environment Manifesto sets out a programme of delivery for the next five years and beyond, building on the Five Green Laws which are highlighted on the front page of the Party's General Election Manifesto. These laws will stimulate more green growth, improve greener transport options, create more energy efficient homes, improve our air quality, reduce household waste and create a zero-carbon Britain within a generation.

If you are considering voting green, I would urge you to look at our impressive record and our promise of more, including:
  • a Green Homes Bill to properly insulate every home, keeping bills down, cutting carbon and keeping people cool in summer. Everyone who insulates their home fully will get £100 off their Council Tax for ten years
  • Interest-free loans for insulation costs
  • A Zero-carbon Bill to green our electricity even further, including getting rid of coal power generation by 2025.
  • Continue the shift to cleaner energy supported by the Green Investment Bank to support 250,00 low carbon jobs by 2020.
  • More energy market competition to keep bills down, setting a target for 30% of the energy market to be supplied by independent companies
These are proposals we can actually deliver AND afford.

Protecting the environment, tackling climate change and delivering on the green agenda isn't just nice to have, it is essential.

In Government we have a proud record of delivery - from nearly tripling electricity from renewables, to making more than 1 million homes warmer and cheaper to heat and securing an ambitious EU-wide agreement on tackling climate change.

Our plan for five new Green Laws on the front of the Lib Dem manifesto shows our intent to go further and faster if we're in the next Government. Lib Dems in Government for the next five years will insure our environment against the risk of sharp lurches to the left or right that would result in this country's focus on a high skill, low carbon economy coming to a grinding halt.

I hope you will vote for me on May 7 so that I can continue to  deliver sustainable green change which helps to cut your bills and grow our economy.

Thursday, 23 April 2015


This graph comes from the King's Fund, a respected health charity. It says the total number of nurses, midwives and health visitors has increased by 9,478 posts (3%) since September 2009.

And just look at the fall in the number of managers at the bottom. We've put clinicians in charge of the NHS, not target counters as there used to be.


The BBC has reported on a report today from the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) into the plans of the respective parties for reducing the budget deficit. 

The IFS notes that Conservative plans for the next Parliament involve "a significantly larger reduction in borrowing and debt than Labour plans" based on "substantial and almost entirely unspecified spending cuts and tax increases".  Labour had been "considerably more vague" about how much it wants to borrow.

By contrast, the IFS said the Liberal Democrats had been more transparent about overall fiscal plans to 2017-18, saying they were aiming for tightening spending more than Labour but less than the Conservatives.

That's pretty much what we've been saying throughout the election campaign and it endorses our approach to the next Parliament.

The IFS also says:
  • “The Liberal Democrats have been more transparent than the other parties about their overall fiscal plans for the next parliament, in particular setting these out in some detail up to 2017–18, when they intend to achieve a cyclically-adjusted current budget surplus.” 
  • With the exception of the Liberal Democrats (who have spelled out plans up to 2017–18) the main political parties have not been transparent about how much they would cut spending on public services in the next parliament. 
  • The Liberal Democrats have been more transparent about their overall fiscal plans for the next Parliament. 
  • The Liberal Democrats have been specific about their planned overall cuts to departmental spending in the first two full years of the next Pparliament.
  • Unlike the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives did not mention these cuts in their manifesto.
 So, on budget responsibility don't take it from us, take it from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

If you vote Lib Dem on May 7th you will get honesty about the budget and a clear plan for paying down the deficit.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Something to be unequivocally proud of Liberal Democrats achieving in government


Liberal Democrats will guarantee public sector pay increases by at least the rate of inflation.

Nick Clegg said that after five years of pay restraint public sector workers deserved to feel the benefits of the economic recovery.  This is why the Liberal Democrats will ensure that employees in the public sector are no longer subject to real term cuts in their pay from the first full year of the next parliament.

To do this, we will issue guidance to public sector pay review bodies to ensure pay increases at least in line with inflation in 2016-17 and 2017-18.  After that, we will be make sure pay review bodies deliver an above inflation increase in public sector pay.  This means a minimum pay rise over the next two years of:
  • £350 for a nurse on £25,000
  • £420 for a police officer on £30,000
  • Nearly £500 for a teacher on £35,000.
Our balanced approach to the economy – tackling the deficit but doing it fairly – means the Liberal Democrats are the only party that can make this commitment.  The Tories’ ideological cuts to public spending and Labour’s inability to tackle the deficit mean both parties will have to make further cuts to real terms pay.

Public sector pay restraint was brought in to get the nation’s finances back on track and contributed over £12bn to the job of deficit reduction in this parliament.  Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint. No more pay freezes or below inflation pay rises.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


The Liberal Democrat Manifesto is a detailed and credible plan to build both a Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society.

The key priorities are spelt out on the front page:
  • Prosperity for all: Balance the budget fairly and invest to build a high-skill, low-carbon economy 
  • Opportunity for every child: Guarantee education funding from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every class. 
  • Fair taxes: Cut your taxes by an additional £400 by raising the Personal Allowance to £12,500. 
  • Quality Healthcare for all: Invest £8bn more per year to improve our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health. 
  • Our environment protected: Protect nature and fight climate change with five green laws.
Our manifesto seeks opportunity for all:
  • Opportunity for Children: with investment in education from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every classroom. 
  • Opportunity for Young People: with more apprenticeships, discounted bus travel, a massive increase in housebuilding and support to rent or own their own home through the innovative Help to Rent and Rent to Own schemes. 
  • Opportunity for Parents: with more free childcare and more paternity leave for fathers. 
  • Opportunity for Workers: with a further £400 tax cut for millions of working people. 
  • Opportunity for Older People: with the pensions triple lock written into law and the extra £8bn a year the NHS needs by 2020 to cope with the pressures of an ageing population. 
  • Opportunity for the Next Generation: with the budget balanced and our environment protected so that our children and grandchildren are not left to pay for the mistakes of this one. 
Nick Clegg described the Lib Dem manifesto as "a blueprint for a stronger economy, a plan to finish the job of balancing the books and to do so fairly by protecting our schools, hospitals and public services.  This manifesto is an insurance policy against a government lurching off to the extremes. At its heart is one word that is absolutely central to what Liberal Democrats believe: opportunity."


According to Labour leader Ed Miliband today, Conservative leader David Cameron is 'playing games' with his talk of the SNP going into coalition with Labour.  According to the Tories, Labour is entering dangerous territory within all the media blather about a coalition with the SNP.

They do sound familiar, don't they...almost the same.  The two largest parties have the most to lose from change and they will fight hard to stop change happening.  If you vote Liberal Democrat this time you can vote for change, not the usual mud-slinging we have all had to endure for decades.

You can vote for:
  • continued investment in the NHS in England, right up to the level the Chief Executive of the service says is needed
  • continued investment in education, with a pledge for full funding from 2 to 19, with qualified teachers in every classroom
  • continued investment in apprenticeships, giving young people real choice as they enter work
  • continued investment in developing a high skill, low carbon economy with green investment to grow our economy and help the environment
  • continued work to get rid of the deficit in the next three years, saving us all money and allowing our recovering economy to continue to grow.
  • continued increases in the tax-free allowance, benefiting everyone in work, taking millions on the lowest incomes out of paying tax and helping people to help themselves
Or you can vote for the same old tiresome banter, the same old politics of lurching leftwards and rightwards every few years and the same old economic uncertainty.

Use your vote sensibly to change politics for good.

Monday, 20 April 2015


More than 50 business leaders has signed a letter to the Financial Times backing Liberal Democrats in government.  They said the UK economy would benefit from having Lib Dems in Government again.

Leading company owners, employers and entrepreneurs said a stronger economy, a record number of jobs and improved living standards was down to the success of the Coalition.  They said: “In view of their track record in sustaining the present Government and their positive role in it, we believe it is essential to have enough Liberal Democrat MPs in the new Parliament to provide a clear and sensible voice for the centre ground.”

The letter warned about the threat to the recovery without the Lib Dems if the Tories or Labour were allowed to go their own way, or if Labour teamed up with the SNP or the Tories with UKIP.  

Liberal Democrats have made huge progress in securing Britain’s economic recovery in the past five years, helping businesses to grow.  We want to to use this foundation to build a strong sustainable economy. 

With the other two major parties reverting to type, a strong coalition government anchored by the Liberal Democrats in the centre ground remains the best way to support British business. 
  • Labour will borrow too much, risking the economy
  • The Tories will cut too much threatening public services and investment
  • We will borrow less than Labour and cut less than the Tories which will enable us to invest in the skills and infrastructure we need
In government, Liberal Democrats have proved our commitment to business and to building a stronger economy by:
  • halving the budget deficit
  • helping business create some 2 million jobs
  • delivering over two million new apprenticeships. 
Employment is at a record high - there are more people in work now than there have ever been, we have bought back confidence to the UK and the economy is now larger than its pre-recession peak in 2008.

Our industrial and economic policy has had supporting business at its heart. We have:
  • reformed the banking system
  • created the world’s first Green Investment Bank
  • enabled unprecedented investment in low carbon energy
  • introduced a Regional Growth Fund and a bold new Industrial Strategy to support growth and high-skilled jobs
  • ensured transparency of company ownership 
  • promoted more diversity in business leadership, with more women on company boards than ever before.

Whether it’s fighting for proper investment in renewable energy, or working to build a high skill, flexible labour market: Liberal Democrats will ensure Britain doesn’t return to the mistakes of the past.

Friday, 17 April 2015


I will unfortunately not be able to meet everyone during this election campaign so if you would like to find out some more about me, the BBC has very helpfully enabled me to introduce myself here and conducted an interview here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


There is still time for you to register to vote and it is difficult to overstate the importance of this election.

Register here, it takes about five minutes.


The Lib Dem manifesto has gone down well across the board, with supportive comments received from a very diverse range of organiations.  Here is a flavour:

“Business will welcome the clear emphasis on economic growth and a skilled workforce to deliver it. The fact this is at the heart of the manifesto shows a clear grasp of what the UK economy needs to propel it forwards.”   
EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation [source]

“Taken with the party’s welcome commitment to increase funding on the NHS by a total of £8bn by 2020 and their ambitious pledges on public health, the manifesto sets an encouraging tone for how the NHS and social care will be treated in any coalition negotiations.”
Nuffield Trust [source]

“We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ prioritisation of education funding. We also welcome the Liberal Democrats' commitment to putting a qualified teacher in every classroom.”
National Union of Teachers [source]

“The ambitious, well-crafted policies in the Liberal Democrat manifesto will keep the UK ahead of the competition in areas such as renewable energy, green investment and energy efficiency.”
Christian Aid [source]

We've delivered for five years and we can keep doing so if you vote Liberal Democrat on May 7.


If you would like an independent, 'bite-sized' summary of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, the BBC offers a useful guide here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015



It may not be bedtime reading but our manifesto has been published today.  We delivered on much of our 2010 manifesto despite having only 57 MPs and being in coalition.  Highlights of what we have achieved include:
  • Cutting your taxes by raising the tax-free allowance to £10,600, saving you £825 a year and taking most low paid workers out of tax altogether
  • Implementing the pupil premium to support the poorest children through school
  • Cutting the massive budget deficit in half
  • Creating over 2m new apprenticeships
  • Investing in the NHS, employing 9,500 new GPs and 7,000 new nurses
  • Introducing equal marriage for homosexual couples
  • Guaranteeing the international development budget at 0.7% of GNI, a target set by the UN
It's quite a list of achievements and our new manifesto is a promise of action for the next five years.  On the front page this time we pledge:
  • Guaranteed funding for education from nursery to 19, with a qualified teacher in every classroom
  • To balance the budget fairly by 2017-18, enabling us to continue investing in and building a high-skill, low carbon economy
  • Cut your taxes further by raising the tax-free allowance by an additional £400, enabling more people to help themselves
  • Protect nature and fight climate change with five green laws
  • Invest £8bn to improve our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health
If you want to find out more about what I will do for Wyre Forest if I am elected on May 7th, it is here.  You can find full details of the manifesto here, including summaries of the main commitments and the full document in a range of formats.


Alone among the major parties it seems the Liberal Democrats have set out clearly how we will raise the money to eradicate the current structural budget deficit by 2017-18.  This will be done through a mix of welfare savings, spending reductions and tax measures aimed at the wealthiest in our society.

Our plans involve:
  • £12bn in departmental savings
  • £3bn in welfare savings
  • £5bn in tax rises 
  • £7bn in reduced tax avoidance

Specific measures to balance the books unveiled today include:

  • A new High Value Property Levy on properties worth in excess of £2m, raising £1bn
  • Corporation Tax: limiting of interest deductibility, raising £800m
  • Corporation Tax: restriction of loss relief, raising £650m
  • An increase in charges for non-domiciled residents, raising £135m
  • Universal Credit: transition measure on capital allowances, protections and the 30 hr rule, raising £420m 
  • Greater restrictions on Capital Gains Tax exemptions, raising £700m
  • Close alignment of dividend tax rates with marginal income tax rates for higher and additional rate taxpayers - raising £1.2bn 
  • Cap working age benefits uprating at one per cent for two years, raising £160m 
  • Removing Winter Fuel Payment and free TV licences from currently eligible higher rate taxpayers, raising £125m
This is detailed and demonstrates how the Lib Dems alone have concrete plans for paying off the deficit, allowing us to invest even more in our economy from 2017-18.  None of this will be easy but we are at least setting out the facts in advance.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


This simple graphic from the BBC shows how housebuilding plummeted after the Tories in the 1980s allowed people to buy their council houses - good - but stopped councils from re-investing the money in new housing to replace the stock which they had sold off - bad.

From this sensible start we have arrived at a housing crisis which it is going to be difficult for anyone to resolve.  It certainly won't be helped at all by selling off yet more housing which forms a key sector of our housing market.

In coalition the Liberal Democrats have helped to increase house building to 150,000 a year but this is still not enough.  We want to set an ambitious target of 300,000 new homes a year, with 10 new garden cities (cities with as much green space as housing) in areas where there is the most need and where there is support from people who need new housing.

We also want to provide ways into home ownership.  We would introduce 'Help to Rent' and 'Rent to Own' schemes to offer both help with deposits for rental and the chance for people to buy their own home using their monthly rent.  It makes a lot more sense than selling off existing rental stock, doesn't it?

The other key policy we have announced is to directly commission house building from government, as is being trialled in Cambridgeshire.  That's the government directly supporting house building for sale to make up for the shortfall in the private housing market.  Sounds a lot like council housing, doesn't it...but we can't say that.

So, sell existing houses or build more?.  You decide.  I hope you vote for helping everyone who wants to to own their own home while ensuring our vital housing associations continue to support people.


I attended a lively hustings event in Kidderminster last night at the Boar's Head.  The event was recorded by BBC Hereford and Worcester and they will broadcast it tonight at 7pm.

It was a very partisan crowd with much shouting but we still managed to have a good conversation.  As you would expect we covered a range of topics including the economy and immigration but one of the key issues locally is of course the NHS. During the debate we were asked how we would deal with the 'crisis' in the NHS and I was pleased to hear the Independent Community and Health Concern share my view that there is no crisis.

The idea that there is a 'crisis' in the NHS has been whipped up by the Labour Party in particular but the Green candidate supported the view. Luckily the one acknowledged health expert in the debate completely disagreed.

There is no denying that demand for NHS services has gone up considerably.  That is in large part for very welcome reasons, including the impressive advances in healthcare which we have seen in recent decades and the fact that we are all generally living longer, with the health challenges that poses.  There has also been a huge increases in the number of people presenting at Accident and Emergency units when they could use their local GP or Minor Injuries Unit, like the excellent service in Kidderminster.

As for GPs, their numbers have risen by 2.3% over the last 5 years according to the King's Fund, the respected health charity which reports on all aspects of health and care.

In the past five years in coalition, the Liberal Democrats have helped to cut the number of bureaucrats in the NHS by around 17% (King's Fund). Against that we have increased the number of doctors by 9.500 and the number of nurses by 7,500 - a rise of 2.5% (King's Fund).

Some crisis.

The Liberal Democrats want to continue to invest in the NHS - following an increase in the budget of £12,7bn in this Parliament - and to keep clinicians in charge of the service, not Whitehall as Labour was keen to do with their targets which skewed the system completely towards short-term box-ticking.  Our priorities for the next parliament are:
  • We have pledged to increase NHS funding in England by £8bn a year in real terms, the amount the NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens says will be needed.  Labour haven't promised anything like this.  The Tories have but haven't said how they would pay for it.
  • We will make mental health our top priority, ending the discrimination against a problem which affects one in four people.  We will do this with £500m a year additional funding (£250m of this was agreed in the coalition's last budget).
  • We will ensure help for carers, the unseen backbone of health and care in our country.  We will introduce an annual 'carer's bonus' worth £250 for full time carers and we will work to raise the amount you can earn before losing Carer's Allowance from £102 to £150.  We will also work to ensure carer's rights in the NHS through measures like more flexible visiting hours
Our changes in this Parliament have helped the NHS to save £5.5bn, with plans to save an additional £1.5bn each year from now on, allowing more money to be invested in patient care.

We have delivered in coalition and we want to continue doing so.

Monday, 13 April 2015


Nick Clegg today responded to the publication of the Labour manifesto by pointing out that their plans to reduce the deficit to zero by 2020-21 will cost us all a grand total of £70bn in extra borrowing.  That's a lot of money.

Liberal Democrats believe the deficit can be paid off by 2017-18, saving us all money and allowing us to invest in our country sooner.

Nick also reminded people that Labour's 10p starting rate of tax gives people an extra £37 a year, quite a lot less than our promise to keep giving people more of their own money back - up to £400 in the next Parliament if we are in government.  Remember, in coalition we've already ensured that you have an extra £825 a year, a policy so good the Tories are desperate to take credit for it.

Imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery but we must remember that David Cameron told Nick in 2010 that we simply couldn't afford to cut people's income taxes. It's on youtube if you want a bit of nostalgia.

The other huge gap in the promises made by the Labour Party today is the failure to match our pledge to give the NHS in England the extra £8bn which its head, Simon Stevens, has said will be needed by 2020.

We've delivered in government and we've made sure we pay our way as well. Not bad for a party with 57 MPs.

Read Nick's response to the Labour funding plans here.

Thursday, 9 April 2015


Exit checks on British borders have been reintroduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, 17 years after Labour abolished them. This is an example of our pragmatic approach to immigration, managing it properly but not demonizing immigrants.


The latest Tory announcement of new 'Cold War' submarines is empty posturing aimed at getting at Labour and the separatist SNP rather than thinking seriously about the many problems the world faces today and how we can both guard against them and help to reduce the risks to the UK.

The Lib Dem approach is to retain our existing deterrent but to scale it down and to stop the regular 24 hour patrols which are undertaken. Despite the continuing threats we face, the Cold War is over and we need a more sophisticated approach to our defence than simply upgrading the weapons which could destroy us all.

We need to keep up our guard but also continue to work with other countries to stabilise and develop our global community and minimise the risks through cooperation, not endless aggression.

For more on the Lib Dem approach to reducing nuclear tensions, visit the national website.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


If you're a student and you're still unhappy with the Liberal Democrats because we couldn't abolish Labour's tuition fees*, this article offers a different view which I hope you will take the time to read.

If you're a young person who isn't planning to attend university, these proposals will still be interesting to you.

*NB: I say 'Labour's tuition fees' because they seek to be holier than thou on this issue but it was Labour which promised in 1997 not to introduce tuition fees, then did the following year and Labour which promised not to raise tuition fees and then went ahead and did so anyway.


More fruits from the hard work of Liberal Democrats in government were realised this week. 

New changes introduced by Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb on Monday mark the largest overhaul of the pensions system in almost a century.  The changes give people the freedom to take control of their own pensions.

From this Monday, April 6th, 300,000 individuals a year with defined contribution pension savings will be able to access them as they wish when they turn 55 – subject to their marginal rate of tax.

These changes were announced in the Budget in 2014 and they were driven by Steve Webb, who has overseen a liberal revolution in the British pensions system.

The measures are just one part of a pensions revolution under Steve Webb.  In government, he has overseen:
  • the introduction of a ‘triple lock guarantee’ to increase the state pension by the higher of earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5%.             
  • a new guarantee for 9 million people to get a workplace pension, which their employers and the government pay in to, giving everyone the confidence to save.
  • a new simple, single state pension to help people save for a better retirement.
  • the foundations for a new model of private pension— the defined ambition pension — where the risks and uncertainties are more evenly shared between employer and employee.
  • abolished the default retirement age-making it illegal for people to be sacked simply because they became a pensioner.
  • authored the freedoms announced at the budget to allow people with annuities the freedom to sell on their existing annuity.
Monday also marks the increase in the basic state pension, thanks to the Liberal Democrat proposal for a ‘triple lock guarantee’. 

The full basic state pension is now £950 per year higher than in 2010 in cash terms.

If you vote Lib Dem on May 7th, we can deliver on more of our promises as we have since 2010.

Monday, 6 April 2015


Happy Easter Monday from the Liberal Democrats. From today if you're on an average income, the amount of pay you take home tax-free has gone up to £10,600 - £4,000 more that the supposed party of working people (you know, all those millionaires and barristers with red rosettes) let you keep back in 2010.

Other parties talk the talk of fairness, Liberal Democrats in government have walked it every day.

Enjoy your money.

Thursday, 2 April 2015


It will doubtless be picked apart for days but I felt the ITV leader's debate was excellent. The programme proved to be a lively debate and the participants engaged with key issues.

It would be good to see more such events.


Hardly surprising for a Lib Dem candidate but for the avoidance of any doubt in advance of what I trust will be a competent performance from my party leader tonight, this interview from the Independent might be interesting.
Embedded image permalink
And he drinks pints...

In it, Nick discusses our achievements in government, stopping the extremes of the Tories and our plans for any future coalition, which are exactly what they were in 2010.  Clear, straightforward, easy to understand.

Read and enjoy.  (Okay, maybe enjoying an interview with a politician is too much but it should at least be interesting)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


The endorsement of the 'Tory-led' government by a group of business leaders in a letter to the Telegraph is welcoming, even if not exactly 'unprecedented' as George Osborne suggested, having been orchestrated many times in the past.  It's a shame the letter didn't mentioned the key role the Lib Dems have played in the economic recovery since 2010. 

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg made the point that it's an irrefutable fact that the recovery would not have happened without the Lib Dems in government.
The letter claims that the Conservatives want to stay the course of improving our economy but the plans they have announced so far mean savage cuts to vital services and carrying on cutting long after it is necessary.  

The Lib Dems plan to balance the country's books by 2017/18 in a fair way.  Our plans will ensure we can deliver on the hard work done over the last five years to rescue our economy. We will:

- Balance the books: finish the job of deficit reduction by 2017-18
- Grow the economy: invest in green energy, housebuilding, road and rail networks and broadband
- Reform the banks: complete the introduction of the system of regulation for the banks, promote competition in the banking sector and introduce a time-limited supplementary corporation tax for the banking sector to raise an extra £1bn

Only the Liberal Democrats can build both a stronger economy AND a fairer society.