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A Letter From Nick Clegg on the Budget

April 22, 2009 4:38 PM

Today the Labour Party confirmed that they have run out of ideas and have condemned us to years of unemployment and a decade of debt. Their pick-and-mix budget of recycled announcements will do nothing to get us out of this recession and nothing that will help the poorest who are being hit hardest by it.

A Liberal Democrat budget would deliver practical help. It would take 4 million people out of paying tax all together and would cut the majority of people's income tax by £700. Paid for by cutting loophole and exemptions that benefit the richest individuals and big business. We would cancel the pointless VAT cut and invest in important green projects that create jobs right now.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are planning swingeing cuts at the very time that the country is expected to be gradually starting to recover.

We would take big choices about what government should and shouldn't do. With a shocking deficit this year of £175bn we need a national debate about what the state can and cannot afford in the future.

That is the responsible way - the honest way - to reduce spending in the years ahead and avoid painful higher taxes.

The country deserves something better - a Liberal Democrat government, Vince Cable as Chancellor and a tax system that has everybody paying their fair share.

Best wishes, Nick Clegg Leader of the Liberal Democrats