Nick Clegg’s blast at Labour today is just the opening salvo of a Lib Dem offensive against Labour on the economy. It is another reminder that coalition unity is strongest on the economy. Clegg’s jibe ‘Do you know why Ed Miliband suddenly wants to talk about the cost of living? Because they’ve lost the bigger economic argument’ could easily have been said by Cameron. While his argument that ‘healthy household budgets flow directly from a healthy economy. The two go hand in hand’ echoed George Osborne’s response to the GDP figures.
At the top of the coalition, they are immensely frustrated that Labour has managed to change the conversation from the economy to energy prices. They are determined to try and wrestle the argument back to the broader economy before the Autumn Statement.
One of the ways they think they can do this is to up the rhetorical ante against Labour. Given the possibility of another hung parliament, Clegg critiquing Miliband is newsworthy. I suspect that this won’t be the last time we hear Clegg warning that Labour would ‘wreck the recovery’.