Clegg tells rest of world not to panic over Britain's slump
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday refused to accept that this week's disappointing economic growth figures were an indication that austerity cuts were damaging Britain's recovery from recession, launching an unapologetic defence of the Coalition Government's policies.
Speaking to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Clegg dismissed suggestions that the Government had taken a gamble on the recovery by introducing much larger cuts than previously expected. "It was an unavoidable decision because if you don't act yourself then other people will force you to do it on their terms," he said.
Mr Clegg said that on coming to power last May, the Government had quickly decided that the bond markets, which finance Britain's debt, would intervene unless ministers acted boldly. "It was a matter of our economic sovereignty," he said.
His comments followed a warning from George Soros, the financier, who earlier told the World Economic Forum he thought Britain's cuts package was bound to derail its economic recovery.
But while Mr Clegg said Tuesday's economic figures, which showed the UK economy returning to contraction in the final three months of 2010, were "disappointing", he argued that Mr Soros had miscalculated.
"This is a bold plan but it is not a plan that is being introduced overnight," he said. "Psychologically, when people hear the announcement [of a package of austerity cuts], they fear a sudden impact, but this is a five-year plan."
Mr Clegg won some support from Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank, who told the forum that it was "important" that the UK had seized the initiative on austerity. "Being ahead of the curve is the appropriate mode if you want to restore confidence," M. Trichet said.
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Californian drought is so severe it's 'causing the ground to move'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...
£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...