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Clegg warns Coalition will stick to economic course

THE Liberal Democrats will continue to "anchor this Coalition in the centre ground" of British politics, Nick Clegg will declare today.

His comment comes as Ed Miliband brands it a "bad government that is letting down the good people of this country" and offers voters a One Nation Labour Party on their side.

In his New Year message, the Deputy Prime Minister says that the UK is "living through fluid, difficult times" but that whatever 2013 throws at it, the LibDems will hold firm to their key purpose – "building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life".

Stressing that the Coalition will stick to its economic course, Mr Clegg tells party members: "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 to get people into work."

In his New Year message, Mr Miliband accepts there are "no easy answers" to the nation's problems but insists: "I do believe Britain can be better than it is."

The Labour leader promises to flesh out his One Nation slogan with concrete policies on business, education and welfare.

He explains that his party's approach will be based on the principle that "we cannot write anybody off in our country" and he challenges the idea that wealth trickles down from the richest. Instead, he says, policies should aim to reward "the forgotten wealth-creators of our country", such as people doing two jobs to make ends meet, small businesses struggling against the odds and young people seeking qualifications and work.

The Labour leader urges Britain to harness the Olympic spirit of 2012, hailing the "indomitable spirit" of people trying to find work in the current difficult economic conditions, including a man he met at a food bank who walked 11 miles to a job interview because he could not afford the bus ticket.

"We've all at least got to imagine walking in the shoes of others, to be the man who walked 11 miles to the job interview; that's what it means to be a One Nation Prime Minister," he says.

Mr Miliband contrasts what he says is a "government of broken promises and broken dreams" to a Labour opposition offering hope for the future.

"I don't offer easy answers and I'm not going to offer false promises either but I do believe Britain can be better than it is," he adds.

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