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Increasing education spending a Lib Dem coalition 'red line'

The Liberal Democrats would insist on an increase in education spending in any coalition deal Nick Clegg has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader says he would not enter coalition with any party that does not agree to protect per pupil funding from nursery to 19-years-old, in real terms, by the end of the parliament.

I can confirm a Liberal Democrat red line - a pre-condition for Government - is increasing spending on education. The Liberal Democrats will not allow our children and grandchildren to pay the price of this generation’s mistakes.

So the next Government must increase spending on nurseries, schools and colleges. That means education spending must rise with both prices and pupil numbers. Without investment in education, there can be no deal with the Liberal Democrats.

– Nick Clegg


Cable ready 'to stomach' another coalition with Tories

Vince Cable is prepared to work alongside the Tories in another coalition - but has set his sights on a new job.

Vince Cable is interested in working at the Treasury Credit: PA

Regarded as one of the most left-wing of Lib Dem Cabinet ministers, the Business Secretary is often touted as a possible partner for Ed Miliband if the party went into coalition with Labour.

However, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Cable criticised the Labour leader's "poor judgment" and said he was ready to "stomach" another five years of co-operation with the Conservatives and would like George Osborne's job as Chancellor.

"I'm up for having a substantial role. My prime interest is the economy. There are two economic departments in Whitehall and I've done one of them for five years. I'll leave you to do the maths."

Mr Cable did not rule out a coalition with Labour, but was critical of two "really big mistakes" made by Miliband.

"He should have said up-front on the financial crisis that `We screwed up seriously' and done a mea culpa.

"And I feel let down by his foolish plan to cut university tuition fees to £6,000. It is a low-grade response. He couldn't resist a cheap soundbite at our expense. Very poor judgment. And his fiscal policy is so vague."

Nick Clegg rules out SNP 'life support' deal

Nick Clegg says he will not strike any post-election deal with a Labour minority government propped up "on a life support system" by the SNP.

Nick Clegg will not work with the SNP Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrat leader added that a coalition with a party that had the second largest number of seats after 7 May would lack "legitimacy".

Labour has repeatedly ruled out forming a formal coalition with the Scottish nationalists in spite of its leader Nicola Sturgeon indicating she would be willing to work in an "anti-Tory majority".

But Mr Clegg told the Financial Times: "I totally rule out any arrangements with the SNP - in the same way I rule out any arrangements with Ukip - because there is no meeting point for me with one party that basically wants to pull our country to bits and another party that wants us to pull out of the EU.

"I would never recommend to the Liberal Democrats that we help establish a government which is basically on a life support system, where Alex Salmond could pull the plug any time he wants. No, no, no."


Danny Alexander responds to infamous 'no money' note

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has finally responded to the infamous "no money" note left by his predecessor.

Credit: Liberal Democrats

Labour's Liam Byrne famously left a note to his successor after Labour's election defeat in 2010, saying "Dear Chief Secretary, I'm afraid that there is no money. Kind regards and good luck."

Five years after taking over, Mr Alexander sent a letter to Mr Byrne apologising for the late reply but that he had been "busy fixing the economy".

"The deficit halved. Jobs up. Growth up. That's the Liberal Democrat record," the Liberal Democrat minister wrote.

"We won't let you - or the Tories - screw it up!"

Lib Dems: Unstable government would be a 'disaster’

A minority government led by Labour or the Tories would spell economic disaster and could cost the average homeowner £800 a year, the Liberal Democrats have claimed .

In a speech, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will say "An unstable government, unable to take serious decisions, pulled sharply to left or right, with Alex Salmond or Nigel Farage, would cost us all dear. It would jam the brakes on the economic recovery."

Danny Alexander warns an unstable minority government 'would cost us all dear'.

"As the market commentary makes clear, such an outcome would lead to higher costs of government borrowing, mortgage costs rising by at least an estimated £800 a year, and a weaker pound.

"That would be an economic disaster for Britain, and an insult to the massive effort and the many sacrifices made by millions of people and businesses who are powering our recovery.

We are the only party that can keep Britain in the centre ground, the markets happy and the recovery going."

Laws: IFS shows only Lib Dems trusted to build economy

Laws: IFS shows only Lib Dems trusted to rebuild economy Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

David Laws has said that the Institute for Fiscal Studies figures show the Liberal Democrats are the only party, "trusted to build a stronger economy."

The IFS could not be clearer - when it comes to the economy the Liberal Democrats are the most transparent and are the party that will end austerity the earliest.

By contrast, the IFS lift the lid on Tory plans to cut public spending to the bone and accuse them of burying details of their the plans to shrink the state.

They also shine a light on the sheer scale of Labour’s deficit denial, which includes yet unspecified levels of borrowing, despite starving the NHS of the cash it needs.

It's now official. Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy and fairer society, and create opportunity for all.

– David Laws, Liberal Democrat spokesperson
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