Nick Clegg challenges Labour to name date on balancing the books

April 13, 2015 7:11 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg has urged Labour to come clean about their plans to tackle the deficit, challenging Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to 'name the date' they will balance the books.

It comes a day after the Liberal Democrats set out - in unprecedented detail - how they will get to grips with the current budget deficit and pay for their spending commitments.

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Labour should remember:

  • They voted in favour of committing the government to balancing the books by 2017/18.
  • Their current plans do not balance the books until 2020/21, which means borrowing £70bn more than the Liberal Democrats, with £4bn more in interest payments.
  • They have not matched the Liberal Democrat commitment to match Simon Stevens' target and invest a further £8bn in the NHS.
  • Their 10p tax rate policy will only give workers a £37 tax break, ten times less than Liberal Democrat plans to raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500.
  • They have still have not apologised for their part in crashing the economy.

About his challenge, Nick Clegg has said:

"Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are intent on playing Russian roulette with Britain's economy.

"By not naming a date to balance the books Labour are not coming clean with the British people about what their plans mean.

"The fact is, Labour want a return to reckless and excessive borrowing. By not having the guts to tackle the deficit they will be need to borrow £70bn more than the Liberal Democrats.

"We know Labour don't have the courage to apologise for crashing the economy but they should have the bravery to name a date and show they have learnt their lessons.

"Labour's economic house of cards has already collapsed once this century - the Liberal Democrats will not let it happen again."