Clegg And Miliband Look Ahead To 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has promised that the Liberal Democrats will continue to "anchor" the coalition Government in 2013.

In his New Year's message he insisted he would not allow the Government to "lurch one way or the next".

His comments may be seen as a message to David Cameron that he will not let him embark on a policy shift to the right in response to growing pressure from Conservative backbenchers.

He acknowledged that the economic situation remains far from stable - particularly in the single currency area - and that many British families are "still feeling the squeeze".

He promised that the Government will stick to its deficit reduction strategy, but also invest in jobs, cut income tax and help parents with childcare.

"I want you to hear it from me, on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, that this coalition Government is not going to lurch one way or the next," said Mr Clegg.

"We will stay the course on the deficit. We will cut income tax bills and help with childcare bills.

"We will invest in boosting jobs and we'll reform welfare to get people into work.

"A stronger economy, a fairer society where everyone can get on - that's what we're about. That's what I want 2013 to be about."

In his message Labour leader Ed Miliband branded the coalition "a bad Government that is letting down the good people of this country", promising that Labour will offer Britain hope in 2013.

Mr Miliband acknowledged that there were "no easy answers" to the country's problems, but insisted: "I do believe that Britain can be better than it is. There can be hope for people again."

He promised to flesh out his One Nation Labour slogan in the new year with concrete policies on business, education and welfare.

Both politicians said Britain should harness the great spirit of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Olympics as it looks ahead to 2013.

Mr Clegg said that 2012 had been "lit up" by images of national spirit, from the Olympic triumphs of Mo Farah and Nicola Adams to the rain-drenched Jubilee River Pageant.

Mr Cameron is expected to give his New Year message next week.