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Clegg: Osborne's spending cuts plan a 'monumental mistake'

Benefits for young people are to be targeted by the Chancellor as he seeks to cut £25bn from public spending, including £12bn from welfare. But Nick Clegg said it was a "monumental mistake" to make the working-age poor bear the brunt of the cuts.

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Clegg challenges Tories to deliver £140 income tax cut

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has challenged the Conservatives to deliver a £140 income tax cut to 20 million workers by scrapping Tory plans for tax breaks for married couples and employee shareholders.

Nick Clegg has challenged the Conservatives to deliver a £140 income tax cut. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Clegg wants Chancellor George Osborne to use his Budget on March 19 to increase the main income tax allowance to £10,500 in what he calls a "workers' bonus" which would slash around £100 from the bills of basic-rate taxpayers and take some low-paid workers out of income tax altogether.

Now he has said the threshold below which earnings are not liable to income tax could be raised further to £10,700 - increasing the potential saving to £140 - if the Conservatives agreed to ditch "pet tax projects" like the married couples' tax allowance.

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