He’s being slated in some quarters for being too gloomy. How we’d all have mocked, though, if he’d come out and told us that it would all be fine and 2012 would see the economy turned around. We’re not daft, he knows it and he’s not in the business of spurting out the old bovine scatology.
He’s right to point out the changes we’re making in the Government regarding pensions, the Pupil premium and raising of the tax threshold. These things are in effect now and he also throws in some longer term Lib Dem gains like the Green Investment Bank and ensuring that our economy isn’t based on the highs and lows of the City of London but is on a much more sustainable footing.
What’s also good is that he’s taken each Liberal Democrat achievement and linked it to a cherished value of ours.
I am not sure that he’s quite got the language right yet. There have been some improvements in communications this year. We started the year with the wince-inducing “Alarm Clock Britain” which seems, thankfully, to have been put out of its misery. What Nick says is perfectly sensible, but not yet emotional enough to engage people.
In the original draft, there was an apostrophe missing. This is not a good thing. I had to edit it, otherwise I’d have come out in hives.
The text in full is here:
This time last year I spoke about how the most important job for Liberal Democrats was dealing with the economic problems we inherited. 12 months on, that task remains the number one priority for our party and the Coalition.
We have had to make some very difficult decisions, but they’ve been the right ones for the long term good of our country.
But that economic rescue mission is not over yet. That’s why, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, the Coalition has been helping people get through these difficult times with measures to make life fairer and easier.
2011 was the year we lifted nearly a million low paid workers out of paying income tax altogether and cut taxes for 23m people – because I believe putting money back into people’s pockets makes all the difference.
It was the year more than a million children got a fairer start in life, with extra support at school through our Pupil Premium and free early years education for toddlers – because I believe that helping the youngest take their first steps in life makes all the difference.
It was the year we guaranteed pensioners a decent increase in their pension – because I believe dignity in retirement makes all the difference.
Throughout, we have taken big long-term decisions that will change the way our economy works for the better – rebalancing it away from the City of London towards stronger, more sustainable growth.
And next year we will do more. The world’s first Green Investment Bank putting millions into green jobs and growth; our youth contract to get every young person out of work earning or learning; more apprenticeships than this country has ever had before; and we will take further steps to make our tax system fairer too.
What we’re doing as a party, and as a Coalition, it’s not easy, but it’s right. We are putting the interests of the country first, and we have taken the first steps towards building a fairer, greener and more liberal country.
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.
And with that, I wish you all a very happy New Year.