Last week, the UK officially entered a recession, but our economy has been on the wrong track for years.

Back in 2010, South East Cornwall elected a Conservative MP who told us that the only way to avoid economic collapse was to drastically cut public spending. In fact this policy strangled growth, so debt continued to rise, whilst public services began to crumble.

In 2015, the Conservatives said “cutting the green crap” would boost the economy because gas was cheap, so schemes to insulate existing homes were put on ice, new onshore wind turbines were banned and energy efficiency standards for housebuilders were slashed.

In 2016, the Conservatives told us that Brexit would boost the economy by cutting red tape and creating global trade opportunities. In fact, by creating trade barriers with our nearest neighbours, red tape has increased (especially for farmers and fish exporters). Independent analysis shows that being outside the Single Market costs the UK over £600 million per week.

In 2020, after a decade of austerity, the UK was ill-equipped to deal with the COVID pandemic. In total, Sunak spent £800 billion, that’s £16,000 per adult in the UK. Where did that money go? Whilst four million children now live in poverty, the top 1% of households are now worth over £4 million!

In 2022, the war in Ukraine drove up global fossil fuel prices. This hit the UK harder than many other countries because of the decisions made seven years previously.

That summer, our MP backed Liz Truss to become Prime Minister, despite warnings that her plans to borrow money to fund tax cuts would cause another financial crisis. Interest rates spiked, and the cost of mortgages and rent shot up. Bad news for most of us, but good news for the rich.

Some people are calling this “Rishi’s recession”, but the truth is that over fourteen years, five different Conservative Prime Ministers have increased both taxes and debt to record levels whilst destroying public services. Our Conservative MP has supported them all as they made the richest richer and the rest of us poorer.

But Labour are so desperate for power that they are tying themselves to the failed Conservative plan. They have pledged not to increase taxes on income, expenditure or wealth, and have scrapped their flagship £28 billion green investment plan. Either they’re being dishonest about their true intentions, or they’re going to take the country further in the wrong direction.

Only the Liberal Democrats have a record of putting economic competence ahead of ideology. We were the first to point out the dangers when Labour deregulated the banks. In the coalition Government, we halved the scale of Conservative austerity plans, introduced the “triple lock” for pensions, and cut taxes for the lowest earners. We are the only party to consistently oppose Brexit and the only party committed to reaching net zero by 2045. Our economy needs more Liberal Democrats in Parliament!