It has taken some hard choices – and the remarkable effort of millions of people and business around the country – but this marks another positive step on the road to a stronger economy.
There are two million more people in private sector jobs, fewer unemployed young people, long term unemployment is falling and we have more women in work than ever before.
The only way we have been able to play our part in turning the economy around is by taking the long view. Back in 2008-09 who would have thought the Britain would have the highest growth in Europe (bar Iceland) and the seven highest in the OECD (after Chile, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand and Turkey).
But, in my view, we have a long way to go. Part of the solution is to ensure that any government at the national level is elected with the majority of the voters. It is unlikely that the recovery would have happened if the Liberal Democrats had not stepped up to provide Britain with a strong and stable government in tough times. The coalition was elected with 59% of the vote. There has not been a British national government elected with a backing of over 50% of the vote since the 1930s. Indeed, in peacetime the present coalition was elected with more support than any other government since the Liberal landslide in the 1860s under Gladstone.