The spending cuts had to be implemented to secure economic sovereignty announced Nick Clegg at the Davos economic summit.
Despite the contraction of the economy, plans made by the government will stay on course.
The plans outlined in the government’s Spending Review were not a “gamble”, according to a speech made to the World Economic Forum by the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday.
Nick Clegg said the deficit reduction plan was “measured” adding that program of cuts would take place over the course of the next four and a half years.
He said: “It was an inevitable decision. Some memories are very short. People tend to forget that, when this government was first formed, we had one of the largest deficits in the G20 and in the European Union…We were spending £120 million a day on the interest – every day. If you don’t take action, other people will force you to do it. It becomes a very fundamental issue of economic sovereignty”.
He continued: “We have not imposed a sort of sword of Damocles of cuts. We have announced a plan that’s imposed a course. I understand that people, psychologically, when they hear about it, think it’s already happened. The vast majority of cuts haven’t been introduced yet… They will be imposed gradually over a four-and-a-half-year period”.
Mr Clegg’s comments came after the announcement that the UK economy shrunk by 0.5% in the last three months of 2010. The contraction has led to criticism from economic experts who are concerned that the government cuts are leading to negative growth.
Others are still upset about the huge number of public sector redundancies that are in the pipeline describing them as unnecessary and damaging.