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Clegg Warns Of Further Austerity For UK

by Robert Lee,, London

30 December 2011

The UK government's "economic rescue mission" is not yet over, the Deputy Prime Minister has said, warning that 2012 will pose further challenges.

In a new year message to members of his Liberal Democrat party, Nick Clegg said dealing with the UK's economic problems remains the coalition government's number one priority. He noted that 2011 has been a year in which very difficult decisions had to be made, but ones he believes are for the long term good of the country.

Nonetheless, this tough year has not been enough to complete the economic recovery. Clegg went on to use the difficult general economic climate to insist that the Liberal Democrats have steered the coalition toward helping taxpayers "get through these difficult times with measures to make life fairer and easier."

He referred to 2011 as "the year we lifted nearly a million low paid workers out of paying income tax altogether and cut taxes for 23m people". Clegg added that this was "because I believe putting money back into peoples pockets makes all the difference."

Also referenced were "big long-term decisions that will change the way our economy works for the better". These include a rebalancing of the economy away from the City of London towards what Clegg called stronger, more sustainable growth.

His plans for 2012 include the creation of the world's first Green Investment Bank, which Clegg maintains will pour millions into green jobs and growth. The government will aim at using its youth contract to get unemployed young people back into work or education, and will provide an increased number of apprenticeships. Furthermore, additional steps will be taken to make the tax system fairer.

"The next year will be one that poses many great challenges for everyone in Britain, but I know we must continue to do what's right for our country", Clegg concluded.

TAGS: individuals | tax | investment | economics | business | tax incentives | fiscal policy | budget | United Kingdom | education | unemployment | tax rates | tax reform | individual income tax

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