The Independent reports:
George Osborne has been accused by his Liberal Democrat deputy of planning the “wilful destruction” of key public services if the Conservatives win next May’s general election…
In an interview with The Independent, the Chief Treasury Secretary said: “The Tory agenda to keep reducing public spending beyond what is necessary would result in the wilful destruction of important parts of our public services. That is not appropriate or right for this country.
“People are prepared to go along with deficit reduction when they see it is necessary. When you are past that point, to where it is an ideological choice, people don’t agree with that.”
The Lib Dems support clearing the deficit on day-to-day spending on services by 2017-18 but, unlike the Tories, would meet 20 per cent through tax rises on the wealthiest…
He warned that the schools budget, provision for 16-19 year-olds, nursery education, and the pupil premium for children from low income families would all be at risk under Tory plans. In contrast, the front page of the Lib Dem manifesto next May would pledge to protect such spending.
He criticised Mr Osborne for ruling out any tax rises while proposing more welfare cuts.