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No pain, no gain in bid to cut UK deficit, says Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg told the Liberal Democrats yesterday that they must stay the course and fully support the Government's painful deficit reduction strategy as he admitted: “There is a long, hard road ahead.”

His serious, sober and steely closing speech to his party's conference in Birmingham was punctuated by his message that the coalition's decisions were “not easy but right”. He said: “There are no shortcuts, but we won't flinch.”

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking against an increasingly gloomy economic backdrop as official figures showed that public sector net borrowing in the UK last month was a higher-than-expected £15.9bn, a record for August.

He eschewed the politicians' usual desire to offer light at the end of the tunnel, but did promise to build “a new economy for the whole nation, safe from casino speculation”, after the banks are reformed.

Mr Clegg said: “The outlook for the global economy has got worse. So we need to do more, we can do more, and we will do more for growth and jobs.” However, his 43-minute address offered few clues about what “more” can be done.

Belfast Telegraph

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