Commenting on today’s GDP figures showing that the economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Graves Park ward, Steve Ayris, said:
Today’s GDP figures offer yet more positive signs. It proves the Coalition Government made the right calls to put us back on track.
And, make no mistake, the recovery would not be happening without Liberal Democrats in Government.
It’s thanks to policies delivered by Lib Dem ministers that businesses are gaining confidence to invest and more people are back in work.
Where to start? How about the 12,000 new apprenticeships in Sheffield (1.5 million apprenticeships nationwide) created under the Lib Dems in government – including 370 apprenticeships for the Sheffield City Region in the first year of the Sheffield City Deal. There are now more apprentices than ever before and 86% more than under Labour.
Maybe the millions of workers who will benefit from a £700 tax cut, or more than two million people who won’t pay income tax at all.
And that’s before we have mentioned the £950 million investment for the Sheffield Region through the second round of the Regional Growth Fund, which is ensuring the recovery is not fenced off in London and the South East.
The Conservatives may be quick to claim credit, but I have no doubt they would not have given us a fair recovery.
Liberal Democrats have blocked Tory plans to allow bosses to fire staff at will and introduce regional pay.
Instead, we are anchoring Britain in the centre ground and strengthening the economy.
But we cannot afford to be complacent in the slightest.
People are still struggling to pay bills and face a daily grind to improve life for their families.
So, the focus must now be on bolstering the economy and making sure this recovery is sustainable.
And it is only the Liberal Democrats who will continue to ensure nobody is left behind.
We could have hidden away in a corner, but instead took a tough decision to form a coalition at a time of economic crisis.
People said we wouldn’t have the stomach for the fight, they said we couldn’t take big decisions, they were wrong.
And because of that, I’m proud to say, we are delivering a stronger economy, and a fairer society.