Nick plans to steer UK ‘to better times’

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DEPUTY Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has published his New Year’s message to Liberal Democrat party members.

Despite Britain’s continuing economic problems and divisions with Conservative partners, Mr Clegg pledged ‘whatever 2013 throws at us, the Liberal Democrats will continue to anchor this coalition in the centre ground’.

The Lib Dem leader said the coalition would continue to focus on cutting the size of Britain’s deficit – but also aim to create jobs and push ahead with welfare reform.

In his message, Mr Clegg said: “We will hold firm to our key purpose in this government: the Lib Dems are building a stronger economy, in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.

“Over the holidays people want a break from politics as much as from work – I know that.

“But as you look to the year ahead, you also deserve the reassurance that your government has a plan to steer the country on to better times – and that we’re going to stick to it.

“So I want you to hear it from me, on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, that this Coalition Government is not going to lurch one way or the next.

“We will stay the course on the deficit. We will cut income tax bills and help with childcare bills. We will invest in boosting jobs and we’ll reform welfare.

“A stronger economy – a fairer society, where everyone can get on.

“That’s what I want 2013 to be about.”

Mr Clegg also highlighted Britain’s achievements during 2012, including the ‘spectacular’ Olympic triumphs and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.