Nick Clegg: Tory deficit plans are a con

Clegg accused the Consevatives of cutting public funding and failing to tax the very wealthy. Picture: John Devlin

Clegg accused the Consevatives of cutting public funding and failing to tax the very wealthy. Picture: John Devlin

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DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today brand Tory plans to tackle the deficit “a con” as he continues to distance the Liberal Democrats from their coalition partners ahead of the general election in May.

With all the parties firmly on an election footing, the Lib Dem leader will use his first press conference of the year to accuse the Conservatives of preparing to abandon the centre ground politics of the coalition in favour of an ideologically-driven programme of cuts.

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“They’re trying to sell you an ideological approach to cuts to public services packaged up as continuity. It’s a con,” he is expected to say.

“They have made a choice to remorselessly cut the money for public services even after the deficit has been eliminated. And their cuts will be even deeper because they have committed to £7 billion of unfunded tax cuts and will not ask for a single penny more in tax from the very wealthy.

“That’s not sticking to the plan. That is a new plan to shelter the very wealthy and impose unnecessary cuts to public services.”

At the same time, he will warn that Labour’s policies represented a “clear and present danger” to the economic recovery.

“Their economic policy consists of huge borrowing and total denial about their responsibility for what happened last time,” he will say.

“Labour will borrow and borrow. Under Labour, we could be paying billions more every year just on the interest on our debt - money that should be spent on schools, hospitals and frontline public services.”

His comments come after David Cameron yesterday warned the spending plans of both the Lib Dems and Labour would undermine their efforts to tackle the deficit and risked plunging the country into “real poverty”.

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