DANNY Alexander has warned there will be “no spending bonanza” if his party remains in power after the next General Election.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury told the party’s conference in Glasgow there would be five more years of austerity, with the spending squeeze going on well into the next parliament.
He warned the “pressures of an ageing and growing population will have to be paid for”, meaning more financial pain in the years ahead.
Mr Alexander told Liberal Democrat members that his party would continue with “difficult decisions” on public spending if it stays in power after 2015.
He also launched a series of attacks on both Labour and the Liberal Democrat’s coalition partners the Conservatives.
Mr Alexander said: “We’ve taken tough decisions to get the deficit under control. And yes, there will be more in the next parliament.
“It will be another five years shaped by the necessity of fiscal restraint. But by the middle of the next parliament we will have eliminated the structural deficit. That doesn’t mean the country can then go back to bad old habits.
“There’s no spending bonanza round the corner.
“Our nation’s debt will need to be reduced. It wouldn’t be fair to pass it on to future generations.”
Mr Alexander also attacked the record of Labour in power as he claimed the party had “derailed the economy” during its time in government.
And he claimed his party had blocked “barmy right wing Tory ideas” within the coalition, such as making it easier for bosses to sack workers.
He added: “We’ve seen the economy through its darkest hour by ensuring that the coalition’s economic plan is pragmatic.
“When the eurozone crisis was raging, when our growth forecasts were going backwards, siren voices on the right called for us to respond by cutting further and faster.
“It was Liberal Democrats who ensured the coalition remained anchored in the centre ground. That we held to our course. Anyone who says the better economic news is all to the credit of the Conservatives is wrong.
“The decisions we have implemented in government, the brighter future that lies ahead, is only there because of us. And we should shout it from the rooftops.”