Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has paid a visit to the ITV West Country studios during a trip to Bristol today. He was greeted by our political correspondent Bob Constantine before being interviewed by Ian and Kylie.
In his interview Nick Clegg said: "We've had to do a lot of difficult things to fill the black hole in the public finances not as in an accounting exercise but otherwise it's unfair on our kids and our grandkids because they'd have to pay off our debts."
Nick Clegg defended what the government has done to help the country's economy. "There are many many people who are worried about paying their electricity gas bills, worried about paying their petrol bills and so what can we do in government? First thing we can do is create a healthy economy so there are jobs for people to go to and thankfully we've seen 1.4 million new jobs created in the private sector despite the fact that the Labour party predicted that we'd lose a million jobs but we've done more than that. As of next April we're giving £700 back into the pockets of over 20 million basic rate tax payers by raising the point at which they start paying income tax to £10,000."
"Fuel will be 20p cheaper by the next general election because we've used some of the hard earned money that we've been able to save in order to fore-go the fuel duty increases that were planned by Labour."
When questioned about the increase in number of people using food banks in our region and changes to the welfare system Nick Clegg said: "Yes we've had to make savings but actually we've never had more people in employment ever on the scale that we do now. We have more women in employment than ever before. And I often hear our critics say it's all just low paid part-time jobs. Not true. The increase in employment in recent times is actually been increases in full-time employment and what we've done in the welfare system is we've just simply changed the welfare system so it is there to provide support for those who are vulnerable and in need but it doesn't become a way of life. Because what I believe, as an old-fashioned liberal is the value and integrity of work. And that's why the changes in the tax system so that even if you just work a few hours a week you keep more of the money that you earn and the changes in the welfare system so that it always pays to work is something that I think was long over-due."
Nick Clegg was also questioned on pensions, whether he actually likes David Cameron and Nelson Mandela. You can watch his reaction in the below video of his interview with Ian and Kylie.