Saturday 16 December 2017

In with the new: Lib Dems plead for change

David Hughes in London

The Liberal Democrats yesterday urged British voters to "try something new" as party leader Nick Clegg launched their general election manifesto.

He promised a £700 tax break for millions of people as the centrepiece of his plan to "hard-wire fairness" into British society. But along with the promised rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000 the party also outlined more than £15bn in public spending cuts as part of the party's effort to present a "credible" package to the electorate.

"If we do things differently for once, if we learn from the mistakes of the past and try something new, we can turn anger into hope, frustration into ambition, recession into opportunity for everyone," he said.

The party's Treasury spokesman Vince Cable described the record £167bn budget deficit as the "elephant in the room" which had been ignored by the Labour and Tory manifestos. Launching the document in the City of London, Mr Clegg said: "The two other parties, they are conspiring to airbrush the recession out of this election.

"Labour, so we don't blame them for the damage they have done, the Conservatives, so they don't have to come clean about the cuts and the tax rises they're planning. They are treating people like fools, imagining that manifestos barely fit for a time of plenty are good enough for a time when money is tight.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said: "It's quite obvious the Liberal Democrat figures don't add up."

Irish Independent

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