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".

Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...

Year 1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 1 Primary Supply Teachers ne...

Early Years Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Early Years supply teachers neede...

Science Teacher - Biology

£120 - £162 per day + UPS: Randstad Education Hull: Science Teacher required f...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits