Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nick Clegg

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nick Clegg

Article excerpt

THE North East is getting back on its feet after one of the harshest recessions for decades. As the latest round of employment figures are published, I wanted to thank readers of The Journal for pulling out all the stops to get our local economy moving again.

It hasn't been easy. But I am proud of what's been achieved over the lifetime of this coalition - across the UK, two million jobs have been created in the private sector, and nearly half a million fewer people are unemployed.

In Newcastle this has meant unemployment is down by over 15,000 since 2010, and over 10,000 more people are in work.

This is largely down to the hard work and entrepreneurship of you: the people, the workers, the businessmen and women of Newcastle.

In order to support the thriving industries of the North East, there have been a number things the Liberal Democrats have done as part of this coalition Government.

We are balancing the books and reducing the deficit which has kept interest rates low and created the right conditions for businesses to thrive.

We have also reduced the basic rate of tax so every worker takes home more of what they earn. In July, I announced the North East Growth Deal. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but its purpose is simple: to give the region the tools you need to prosper.

The Growth Deal brings to the region over PS300m of investment, which among other much-needed projects, will help to stimulate new ideas an innovation in the region, and give people the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities as the economy comes off life support.

Rather than the "one size fits all" approach in the past, which has seen some parts of the country left behind, now every city, every region, has the freedom to set its own priorities and manage its own budgets.

The Regional Growth Fund has granted PS3bn directly to businesses who need a bit of extra funding to create a new project, or a new building, or to land a new contract that will allow them to employ more people in the area. …

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