Clegg: no change on economy plans
The Government will "absolutely not change course" in its plans to tackle the deficit, Nick Clegg says.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government was committed to finding innovative ways of raising funds for capital investment - but warned a return to the "bad old days" of extensive borrowing was not the answer.
Mr Clegg's comments came amid rising calls for a new economic strategy to be unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne in his March Budget. Figures published on Friday revealed a drop in GDP threatening an unprecedented triple dip recession.
But speaking on the BBC One Andrew Marr programme, Mr Clegg said: "You can be very tough on the deficit, which we have, we have reduced it by a quarter, and you can be restlessly creative about how within those strictures you do things to make the economy grow.
"We're being tough, but pragmatic. We are being resolute but innovative. If people have ideas about how we can provide further capital investment into our infrastructure, without breaking the bank, of course we are open to that.
"We are absolutely not going to change course in paying off one of the world's largest budget deficits - why? Because if you just shrug your shoulders and say it's too complicated, we end up asking our children and grandchildren to pay off this generation's debts."
Mr Clegg highlighted Crossrail as one of the largest infrastructure in Europe and said tomorrow announcements about HS2 would heal the north south divide.
And the Liberal Democrat leader said £50 billion of guarantees were available from the Treasury to help drive infrastructure projects forward.
But Mr Clegg warned some sectors of the economy would take longer to repair than had been hoped.
The Deputy Prime Minister also rejected claims he had dubbed the Government's cuts to capital investment early in the coalition as a mistake.