29 Apr 2015
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has announced that his party will only enter another coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour on the condition that an emergency “stability Budget” is held within 50 days of the General Election.
In a press conference yesterday Mr Clegg insisted that the economy was a ‘red line’ issue in any post-election agreement. He said: “I choose my words very carefully. If we don’t have, in any coalition agreement which we enter into… a stability budget within 50 days to keep the economic recovery and economy on track, Liberal Democrats will not enter government”.
Continuing his efforts to position his party on the middle-ground between the Conservatives and Labour, Mr Clegg claimed that the Lib Dems would keep both major parties “on the straight and narrow”.
He said: “We won’t let Labour risk your job or your economy with reckless borrowing. And we won’t let the Conservatives risk our schools, hospitals and public services with reckless cuts”.
The Lib Dems have previously been critical of Labour for failing to set out a clear timescale for eliminating the deficit, but have also rejected Tory plans to cut £12bn from welfare without increasing higher rates of income tax.
Mr Clegg insisted that the Lib Dem plans would: “calm jittery markets, keep interest rates low, keep Britain on track and show the British people how we will finish the job fairly and continue to support our public services”.
The ‘stability Budget’ is the second issue which Mr Clegg has described as a “red line” in any coalition negotiations, the first being a pledge to increase education funding in England from £49bn to £55.3bn. He said he would “not accept under any circumstances the cuts to nurseries, to schools and to colleges that both Conservatives and now Labour have announced”.