Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg’s grasp of economics has been called into question after he was found to have exaggerated the level of Sheffield Council’s cash reserves by more than £120m in an attack on his own city’s leaders.

In an open letter, the Sheffield Hallam MP accused the council of sitting on £167m in “usable reserves” which could have been used to “protect front line services.”

While there is a line item in the city’s statement of accounts labelled “usable reserves” valued at £167m – Nick conveniently fails to mention more than £123m of that figure is already ringfenced or earmarked — mainly at a national level — for specific purposes, and can’t be spent on front line services.

David Blunkett, MP for neighbouring Brightside & Hillsborough constituency, told Political Scrapbook:

“I’m afraid economics and accountancy are not the Deputy Prime Minister’s great strength”

The “usable reserve” includes £57.2m reserved for capital projects, £14.4m which must be spent on social housing and £10.1m reserved to pay for repairs to buildings — all of which is required by national legislation. A further £42m is reserved under a variety of other mandatory earmarks.

Clegg’s £120m spin came in response to a letter in last Sunday’s Observer from a trio of northern council leaders, including Sheffield’s Julie Dore, claiming that Clegg had yoked himself to a brand of Conservatism with “no social conscience”.

If Nick’s so proud of Coalition investment in Sheffield, why would he need to fudge the figures to prove it?

  1. “I’m afraid economics and accountancy are not the Deputy Prime Minister’s great strength” is exactly the same argument deployed by Jack Straw when nobbled on his dodgy expenses claims. Ah, Blunkett, always ready with some hypocritical mendacity.

  2. Blunkett attacking Clegg for double standards is a definite case of pot
    making allegations about the kettle.

  3. he has a history of getting his facts and figures screwed up

    In 2011 by supposedly letting councils take 100% of all business rates collected locally this was to allow councils more access to local money to offset some of the problems that they would be facing

    but THEY LIED!!!!!!!!!!!!! central gov takes 50% of all business rates

    I was at the Sheffield council meeting when all of this was presented back in late November

  4. deckerdude304 says:

    Neither party can be trusted with the nations finances.
    If they are not nicking it behind your back, like Liebour did, then they are up front and in yer face nicking it, like the Cons.
    But, this is the result of ‘tribal voting’ i suppose, ho hum.
    @Itsnickcleggsfault: Could not have put it better myself!

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