Message from David Cameron
As the figures come out which finally officially confirm that Britain is in recession (not that anyone had much doubt about it), David Cameron has sent out the following message about the practical, lasting help this country needs.
We face a very difficult time in 2009. Unemployment is rising, people are struggling to pay the bills, repossessions are going up, businesses can't get hold of credit. The situation is critical, so it is vital that any political decisions made now meet two vital tests.
First, we need to be sure that what we're doing is really related to what is wrong with our economy. Our party's biggest proposal - the National Loan Guarantee Scheme - is absolutely related to the core problem of this recession; the drying up of credit that is denying businesses cash flow. By making sure money can flow from banks to businesses again, our scheme directly addresses that.
The second test for politicians is that any action taken must be right for the future as well as for right now. What Labour have done is both short-term foolish and long-term foolish. The pointless VAT cut hasn't offered immediate help - in fact it's been condemned by both Next and M&S - and worse, it will add an eye-watering £12.5billion to our national debt.
Contrast that with our plan to abolish income tax on savings for everyone on the basic rate of tax. It's short-term wise - helping the forgotten victims of Labour's recession now - and long-term wise because it sends out the much-needed signal that saving is good. That's exactly the sort of practical, lasting help this country needs right now.