I gave this decision a lot of thought, consulting colleagues, as well as the two MEP’s.
Firstly, austerity at home and abroad. I take the fundamental and principled view that cutting public spending not only increases deficits but harms the private sector economy. With 70p in every £ of public money going into to the private sector economy, ideological decisions to cut public spending are just plain wrong. The examples of so-called smaller countries ( I prefer the term normal sized nations), who have dealt with the financial crisis without attacking public spending or welfare programmes is a useful tool to bring into political debate in 2014.