Britain needs a sustainable and balanced economy, not just to help fund public services but because growth and enterprise create jobs and opportunities for all. Liberal Democrats believe that there is much to be done to create an economy that ensures that the whole population benefits from the advances ahead.
Scotland is teetering on the brink of recession, and the UK economy is patchy and unbalanced. There are stark contrasts between regions, between old and young, and between the successful and those left behind. The Liberal Democrats will work to support growth now, and put in place a sustainable economy that will create growth for the future. An economy that works for the long term: prosperous, green, open and fair.
To do this we will oppose corporation tax cuts and help everyone to earn a decent living by establishing an independent review on how to set a genuine living wage across all sectors as well as stamping out abuse of Zero Hours Contracts to help everyone across the country share in prosperity.
We will provide assistance to areas heavily dependent on fossil fuel industries, such as the North East of Scotland, to support the industry for its remaining life, including decommissioning, and ultimately to diversify the economy away from these industries.
The actions of the Conservatives have undermined the Coalition’s work in fixing the economy. They have chosen to risk the long-term future of our economy by limiting vital spending on infrastructure and creating an over-reliance on consumer spending fuelled by debt to prop up growth. They have consistently put their own short-term ambition above long-term economic prosperity. Above all, their disastrous determination to pursue an extreme Brexit casts a shadow over our economic future. As a result, our economy is at its most fragile since the 2008 crash. We need a radical programme of investment to boost growth, develop new infrastructure fit for the future and get our economy back on track.
Liberal Democrats reject the Conservative Government’s damaging and irrational commitment to run budget surpluses on both capital and revenue, which imposes completely unnecessary deep cuts in spending and limits the scope for much-needed capital investment. But we have no intention of just throwing away hard-fought efforts to control the deficit. Liberal Democrats will therefore commit to eliminating the deficit in day-to-day spending by 2020. This means we will be able to keep debt as a share of national wealth falling through the parliament, unless there is a recession.