Coffee House

David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s joint foreword to the Mid-Term Review

7 January 2013

8:26 AM

7 January 2013

8:26 AM

Two and a half years ago, our parties came together in the national interest and formed a coalition at a time of real economic danger. The deficit was spiralling out of control, confidence was plummeting, and the world was looking to Britain with growing anxiety about our ability to service our debts.

This Government’s most urgent job was to restore stability in our public finances and confidence in the British economy. In just two years we have cut the deficit by a quarter and have set out a credible path towards our goal to balance the current budget over the economic cycle.

Dealing with the deficit may have been our first task, but our most important task is to build a stronger, more balanced economy capable of delivering lasting growth and widely shared prosperity. In essence, this involves two things: growing the private sector, and reforming the public sector so that what the Government does – and the money it spends – boosts, rather than undermines, Britain’s competitiveness.

Meeting this challenge is imperative if Britain isn’t to fall behind in the global race, for while the Western economies have stalled in recent years, the emerging economies such as India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey have been surging forward. In the coming years, some countries in the developed world will respond to this shift in economic power; but some will not. Those that do will prosper. Those that do not will decline. It is that simple.

That is why we have not baulked at the tough decisions needed to secure Britain’s future. Whether it is reducing the deficit, rebalancing the economy, regulating the banks, tackling climate change, modernising our energy and transport infrastructure, putting our universities on a sustainable financial footing or dealing with the challenges of an ageing population and reforming public sector pensions, we have consistently chosen to do what is right over what is easy or popular; what is in our country’s long-term interest over our parties’ short-term interest.


Ultimately, however, Britain will only prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy if we can realise the full potential of each and every person in our country. That is why our plans for economic recovery are accompanied by a radical agenda of social renewal, to build not only a strong economy, but a fair society in which everyone, no matter what their background, can rise just as high as their aspirations and talents can take them.

Above all, that means having a welfare system that works and schools that teach our children properly. Since we came to office, more than 1 million jobs have been created in the private sector. We are fundamentally changing our welfare system to make work pay. And we have injected new ambition into our education system: making exams and testing more rigorous; backing teachers on discipline; allowing people who are passionate about education to open new schools in the state sector; and, crucially, supporting the poorest pupils through our Pupil Premium.

We fully recognise that the changes needed to get Britain fit for the global race, combined with the strong economic headwinds we are still facing, have put many families’ budgets under strain. That is why we are doing everything we can to help those who are working so hard to help themselves: moving rapidly towards a £10,000 personal income tax allowance, freezing council tax, helping with energy bills and cutting fuel duty.

So we are dealing with the deficit, rebuilding the economy, reforming welfare and education and supporting hard-working families through tough times. And on all of these key aims, our parties, after 32 months of coalition, remain steadfast and united. Of course there have been some issues on which we have not seen eye to eye, and no doubt there will be more. That is the nature of coalition. But on the things that matter most – the big structural reforms needed to secure our country’s long-term future – our resolve and sense of shared purpose have, if anything, grown over time.

We came to office at a difficult time for our country. An economy still in shock. The Eurozone facing crisis. The inevitability that difficult cuts would have to be made. Worry, uncertainty and worse for many families and businesses. We have been determined to work in a way that keeps our country together through these times. That is why we have protected the NHS from spending cuts and protected schools, while other departments have faced significant spending reductions. That is why we have made sure that the richest have paid the most towards reducing the deficit. We have protected pensions, with the largest increase in the basic state pension. And we have kept our promises to the poorest in the world – meeting the pledges made about overseas aid.

Today, at the half-way point in this Parliament, we are taking stock of the progress we have made in implementing the Coalition Agreement that we signed in May 2010. But we are also initiating a new set of reforms, building on those already under way, to secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions.

We will support working families with their childcare costs. We will build more houses and make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people. We will set out plans for long-term investment in Britain’s transport infrastructure. We will set out two big reforms to provide dignity in old age: an improved state pension that rewards saving, and more help with the costs of long-term care. And as we take these steps to reshape the British state for the 21st century, we will take further steps to limit its scope and extend our freedoms. We will be making announcements about each of these policy initiatives in due course.

Our mission is clear: to get Britain living within its means and earning its way in the world once again.

Our approach is consistent: to help hard-working families get by and get on, so that everyone can reach their full potential.

And our resolve is unwavering: we will continue to put political partisanship to one side to govern in the long-term interests of the country.

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Show comments
  • smithersjones

    Our mission is clear: to get Britain living within its means and earning its way in the world once again.

    £600 billion of additional debt. Says it all really…..

  • Heartless etc.,

    Waste, waste, – and more waste!

    Waste of print and paper, waste of time reading and listening to the odious bullshit produced by these two and their flunkies, and waste of time and money by all involved in staging this nasty cynical outpouring of PC lies, disinformation and sanctimonious effluent.

    The H2B, – if he had a scruple of self-respect and honesty – would have used the occasion to resign and ask for a bone fide Tory replacement.

  • commentator

    HooksLaw: “You are a hysteric obsessive”. Pot? kettle?
    As for the two-faced charlatans in the picture, they seem to be forgetting to mention that child benefit will be payable from next year to large numbers of economic migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. This rather undermines their claim that removing child benefit from families with stay-at-home mothers will reduce public spending…..but is at least consistent with their polciy of steadily increasing public spending and printing the money to pay for it.

    • TomTom

      Part of the DfID Budget no doubt

    • HooksLaw

      If there were more truth and sense posted then there would be less need to correct it.

      For reasons I have outlined above there is no reason to raise the obsessive issue of the EU or immigration. Anyone in work from where ever will be paying taxes and NI. The reasons for disliking east european migration lie not in the migrants themselves but in the Britons who have been parked on benefits as a result.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Who appointed you as the Sheriff of Truth and Sense?

        A detached observation reveals wild and woolly commentators, mostly of conservative disposition, generally suspicious of the state, its weasel politicians, self serving bureaucrats and embedded socialists, upon which a handful of “regulators” seem to see their mission as riding herd. Attempting to head off a diatribe here, lassoo a rant there, and often drawing their plastic six-shooters to fire the same badly aimed and predictable pejoratives. Up near the front, always telemachus, red star on his waistcoat, hat in hand a whooping and hollering his scripted soundbites. Yahoooo!

        Meanwhile the stampede continues and more and more angry longhorns are joining it.

  • Austin Barry

    Not a word about the EU or immigration. None of our business I guess.

    Nice to know though that, “… we have kept our promises to the poorest in the world – meeting the pledges made about overseas aid.”

    The self-regarding piety of these two chumps is hard to stomach.

    • HooksLaw

      You and your bigotry is hard to stomach. Cameron is all set to make a major speech on the EU and only yesterday talked about stopping ‘benefit tourism’.

      You are an hysteric obsessive.


        Lol! What is more stupid? The usual posts produced by trolls such as HooksLaw, or the unspoken assumption by the same trolls that Cameron can be believed on anything he might say!

        • HooksLaw

          Look who’s calling someone a troll – what a laugh – someone who without justification or evidence habitually shouts out Cameron is a liar. The absurd suggestion of Mr Barry was without any merit.

          • Wessex Man

            What about ‘Pasty Station’ then you half-wit?

        • don logan

          Maidstone, How’s your crusade for Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon/Paul Harris coming on? You picked a winner there didn’t you.

      • Sean

        Wow, you really don’t like Mondays. Austins points are all valid.

        Nothing on the EU and just how many times has this “speech” been delayed now?

        Nothing on immigration.

        Nothing on the fact they had to beg India to take cash to meet the overseas aid pledge although a recent poll reported only 25% support it.

        Great success that they have only reduced the deficit by half of what they planned.

        If this was a school report, ofsted would have them as failing and be recommending new management.

        • HooksLaw

          His point is about as valid as saying Mount Everest has a flat top.
          The coalition do not agree on the EU (which is of course one of the absurdities of UKIP whose ambitions would at the very least ensure the continuance of the LDs in power with Europhile Labour) so why should they speak about it in a joint statement.
          You are a bunch of sick obsessives.

          • Noa

            Of course the Odd Couple agree to the EU, you gullible sap!
            Cameron is desperately waiting for Heywood to produce a brief to maintaining the status quo and ignoring the majority of UK citizens who want to leave.
            Clegg at least is honest and just poo poo’s the idea because he doesn’t like the idea of not being a commissar.

      • Austin Barry

        Only women can, by definition, be ‘hysteric’.

        And please try and relax, this embittered anguish is bad for your physical and mental health – deep breaths now: in, out.

        • HooksLaw

          Har har har…
          You with your Pavlovian reaction dare tell someone to calm down? Har har har…

          And of course we note your misogyny. Or is it your conception that our understanding has not changed since the medicine of the ancient greeks.

          • Austin Barry

            Nurse, the restraints.

        • Noa

          “…And in again. That’s right, hold it there..purse your lips. That’s a pretty colour isn’t it? From puce to purple..Now have a little nap. Yes that’s right…UKIP”.

      • Colonel Mustard

        That’s what he did all right – talked. But he didn’t actually talk about “stopping it” – he said it needs to be “looked at”. Well, we have all been looking at it since about 1997 and anyone with half a brain knows what is still going on in Britain today. Only loons and nutjobs peddle the idea that unlimited immigration is good for us.

        If Cameron was as hysterically obsessive about stopping benefits tourism as he is about promoting gay marriage, creating the Great British Internet Firewall, reading all our emails and subsidising dodgy foreigners we might not be quite so cynical.

        • EJ

          Hear Hear Colonel!

    • Noa

      Odd people, both of them.

    • EJ

      Jesus wept, look at the pair of them: snotty, irritable toff and pale, hapless bed-wetter.

      The self-righteous crap they spin gets more irritating by the day. They preach about overseas aid while the dregs of the world flood into our country, transforming it beyond all recognition and pushing our public services to breaking point. Is there anyone left who still believes in these chumps??

  • TomTom

    The Two Ronnies are back…..

    • Bluesman

      The Two Wrongies, surely?

  • Earlshill

    “We will support working families with their childcare costs” But only if both parents are wage slaves. So our busybody politicians have now decided that family life should only be supported if both adults in the family are “economically productive”. Exactly when did the Conservative Party embrace Marxism?

    • Macky Dee

      Are you referring to the tax relief for persons earning over £ 50,000 ? If so, Why should anyone but the poorest get tax relief? Anyone earning more than average shouldnt be getting anything. This is why our country has no money because even middle income earners get benefits! How mad!


        How is taking less of someone’s money who works for it a ‘benefit’. This is just socialism. Everything belongs to the state and someone of you will get some of it back!!!

        The madness is that we have allowed this marxist state to develop before us. Now, to even mention that perhaps taxation without representation is essentially theft is represented as being ‘mad’!

        • Colonel Mustard

          And one of the cleverest parts of this great “progressive” con has been to brand the marxism as the “centre ground” and demonise anything to the right of that to the point where cowardly wet Tories are now shit scared of being labelled conservative.

          Cultural revolution every bit as pernicious as Mao’s but infinitely more subtle and the denouncements are orchestrated in the media or on Twitter rather than on the streets and campuses.

    • HooksLaw

      The state does not determine who has children. The fact is if a mother thought she could not afford to have a baby then she probably would not. So the policy of helping working mothers get back to a job they have probably invested a lot in seems perfectly humane.

      Dummies like you don’t realise there is only so much money to go round. Nor can you properly define Marxism.

      • TomTom

        “if a mother thought she could not afford to have a baby then she
        probably would not” That is very considerate and so obviously untrue as to render you deceitful

        • HooksLaw

          ‘probably’ you cannot have skipped that since you pasted it.

          And of course the actual facts ‘obviously’ being…

          • Wessex Man

            Mm, A Daily Mail reader are you? that explains a lot, you half-witted boomer you!

          • The_Missing_Think

            Talking of these fact things matey… try these for size,

            It’s absolutely imperative that Labour are kept out in 2015, for the Nation… right? (Fact one).

            So logically, which should take No.1 priority?… very dis-advantageous boundaries for the Nation… or 100 year old Lords reform takes a temporary hit for the Nation?

            You gleefully ‘politically emoted’ when Clegg’s Lords reforms were crushed. (Fact two).

            Cui bone dust settles…. and you’ll find that your stupid gloating paved the way for Miliband to get the upper hand for 2015… that’s bad for the Nation thicky. (see Fact one).

            You’re just a lazy emotional NUJ media narrative chanting string puppet. (Fact three).

      • Colonel Mustard

        My dear, deranged and most useful of idiots, mothers are now having babies to fund their lifestyles, to buy their 4×4’s for the school run and those new kitchens that they simply must have – after all it is totally unacceptable to be stuck with a kitchen more than five years old, a terrible infringement of their ‘uman rights.

        I have seen them, on TV, moaning about how they won’t be able to cope with their coffee cups in hand whilst behind them their brand new, must have ultra modern oak and stainless steel kitchens gleam, funded partly by the state (ever eager to reward those who increase its burden in a vicious cycle of misrepresentation) and partly by the poor, chucked out, estranged husbands paying the alimony.