Clegg promises to deliver 'fairness'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg pleaded with voters today to trust his party to "deliver the fairness that people want".

Mr Clegg said the Lib Dems had a track record of good judgment, having been the first party to warn about the banking crisis.



And he flagged up the credentials of Treasury spokesman Vince Cable, describing him as "the best batsman around".



But he appeared to dismiss suggestions that Mr Cable could become chancellor if a hung parliament is returned after May 6, saying: "It doesn't work like that - we work as a team."



Speaking to GMTV, the Lib Dem leader accused both Labour and the Tories of making "buy now, pay later" tax pledges.



And he said: "I think the key thing in this election is who do you trust to deliver the fairness that people want.



"And I think on, for instance, the way we have said very clearly, before any other party did, that the greed of the bankers in the City of London was going to lead to disaster - that's an example of trusting us to have the right judgment."



Put to him that Mr Cable enjoyed a higher profile among voters, Mr Clegg said: "I'm absolutely delighted that my close friend and colleague Vince Cable is, if you compare him to Alistair Darling and George Osborne, is by far the most trusted and authoritative."



And he said: "If you want Vince Cable in No 11, vote for the Liberal Democrats."



Pressed on whether Mr Cable might become chancellor if the Lib Dems hold the balance of power after the election, Mr Clegg compared his Treasury spokesman to Manchester City footballer Carlos Tevez, who moved across the city from arch-rivals Manchester United.



He said: "I don't think Vince is going to be in the sort of Carlos Tevez school of transfers from one team to another.



"We work as a team, the Liberal Democrats work as a team. I'm very proud, as the captain of the Liberal Democrat team - a bit like the captain of a cricket team - that in Vince Cable we have the best batsman around."



Mr Clegg continued his attack on Conservative tax policies, saying David Cameron's party had drawn up a "huge shopping list of tax bribes".



The Lib Dem leader has been critical of the Tories' plan to scrap most of Labour's planned rise in National Insurance, claiming Mr Cameron would have to raise VAT to 20.5% to pay for it.



The Conservatives deny this, saying the move will be funded by government efficiencies, and Mr Clegg was asked if he was calling Mr Cameron a liar.



He replied: "I'm saying the Conservatives aren't being straight with people about how on Earth they are going to pay for it.



"I think both Labour and the Conservatives in this debate are presenting us with a debate about tax which is 'buy now, pay later'.



"The question in politics is not whether you dislike taxes - we all dislike taxes - it's how do you pay to keep taxes down?"



Mr Clegg said his party would ensure people paid no income tax on their first £10,000 of earnings, funded by closing "huge loopholes" in the tax system.



He also pledged to bring down class sizes in schools to give children a "fair start in life", offering: "£2.5 billion extra for schools every year by cutting spending elsewhere in government."



And he said the NHS would be "very safe" in Lib Dem hands, with bureaucracy cut to protect frontline services.



Earlier the Liberal Democrats said they would stop banks charging excessive penalties for customers who go over their overdraft limit.



The party's manifesto for consumers will also contain measures to limit charges for bouncing a cheque and cap the interest rates on credit cards.



Mr Clegg said banks should not be allowed to "profiteer" from people making small mistakes.



The Lib Dem leader will launch his party's campaign in Wales during a visit to Cardiff today, before heading to Birmingham and Leeds and ending the day in his Sheffield constituency.



Outlining his plan to boost the power of consumers, Mr Clegg told reporters in Cardiff he would take on the "vested interests" in the business world.



He said: "Consumers still get a seriously raw deal in this country.



"We have still got far too many vested interests in the business world who are ripping people off."



He said excessive bank charges for straying over an overdraft limit or bouncing a cheque were "seriously out of order".



And he said low-cost airlines should be open about the total cost of flights with "no hidden charges".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

£28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: C# .NET Developer / Application Support - Junior

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business has an industry r...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash