I am writing this just before setting off for the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow. I enjoy party conferences, and this year I will speaking on subjects as varied as Trams, Football, HS2, Jobs, the Creative Economy and the BBC.
In many of these subjects, the Liberal Democrats have delivered and have something different to say from the other parties.
I am visiting Celtic FC to talk to them about our support for “safe standing” at premier league football games and our aim to make homophobic chanting a criminal offence, as it is for racism.
On trams, I will be talking about how this Government delivered funding for Metrolink after Labour cancelled it twice. On HS2, the Lib Dems delivered it for Manchester whilst many Labour and Tories MP’s don’t want it.
The Liberal Democrats delivered an income tax cut of £400 for all low and middle-income earners. A measure the Tories said was unaffordable.
The Liberal Democrats delivered a £400 per child saving to Manchester parents by giving free school meals to 5,6 and 7 year olds.
The Liberal Democrats delivered £20million extra in pupil premium to Manchester schools, a measure Labour opposed.
The Liberal Democrats delivered more power for local Councils through the City Deal, a “Game-Changer” for Manchester according to Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein. He and I will be speaking at a fringe meeting at conference on the importance of HS2 to jobs in Manchester and other Northern Cities.
The Labour party wasted their chance and ruined the economy, destroying jobs and slashing incomes. In power by themselves they will borrow too much and risk the recovery, sacrificing opportunity for everyone.
And you can’t count on the Tories to care because left to themselves these past five years, they would have cut public services deeper and faster, making the poorest bear the heaviest burden – exactly what George Osborne says they plan to do if they win the general election.
So the choice in this election is clear: Labour will borrow too much, risking the economy. The Tories will cut too much, sacrificing the least well off. The Liberal Democrats will borrow less than Labour and cut less than the Tories, balance the budget by 2018 while ensuring decent public services, creating opportunity for everyone.