George Osborne is a 'very dangerous man' with a 'very dangerous plan' that would lead to economic 'disaster', Nick Clegg says

The Lib Dem leader is trying to differentiate his party from the Tories

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Indy Politics

George Osborne is a “very dangerous” man with a “very dangerous plan”, Nick Clegg has said.

The Deputy Prime Minister branded his coalition colleague’s economic policy as “disaster” waiting to happen and said he would do everything in his power to stop the Chancellor’s economic plan.

“I find it socially and morally unacceptable, but also economically a disaster,” Mr Clegg told British GQ in an interview.

The comments are the strongest attack yet by the Liberal Democrat leader as he ramps up his attempt to differentiate his party from the Tories.

As a fellow member of the Government Mr Clegg has voted the same way as Mr Osborne on most issues for the last five years.

He said he “can live” with David Cameron, however.

 “Cameron would tell you himself, he is a classic traditional shire Tory, and I can live with that,” he told the magazine.

“George Osborne is a very dangerous man with a very dangerous plan, and I will do everything in my power to stop it.”

He added that the Chancellor’s economic policy would do “so much damage”.

 

The attack on the Chancellor suggests that in the event of a second Lib Dem-Conservative coalition after 2015 Mr Clegg would call for Mr Osborne to replaced as chancellor.

The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has expressed frustration that Mr Osborne has not spelled out how he would make very deep cuts planned for after the election.

The Chancellor says he will make £12bn reductions to the welfare budget but will not say which benefits will be cut.

“The Conservatives have been clearer about what they want to achieve [than Labour], but they have not been clear about how they would achieve it. They would require substantially bigger spending cuts or tax increases than Labour,” top figures at the IFS wrote in a joint article last week.

The Chancellor says that the Coalition’s record shows that he can make cuts while protecting the most vulnerable.

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