Wealthy 'must pay more' says Clegg
George Osborne "must" make the wealthiest pay more to help fund tax cuts for the less well off in next week's budget, Nick Clegg is to say.
In his keynote speech to Liberal Democrats at the party's spring conference in Gateshead, the Deputy Prime Minister will publicly call on the Chancellor to include "concrete" measures supporting lower earners.
The move, which aides described as "raising the stakes", comes ahead of a crunch Coalition budget meeting on Monday.
Mr Clegg will say the Lib Dems have secured major concessions on tax for poorer households but admit there is "still more to be done".
"That is why the Budget in ten days time must offer concrete help to hard-pressed, hard-working families," he will add. "A big increase in the income tax threshold, further and faster towards £10,000. Help we promised, help we are delivering, in Government, today.
"I want the budget to show how we are anchoring this Government in the centre ground. Credible - but fair. The last Labour budgets led our nation to the economic precipice - fantasy budgets issued by a party in denial, out of ideas and abdicating responsibility.
"This month's budget will show the determination of both parties in government, to repair the public finances, keep our economy safe and help working families.
"This year's Coalition Budget must cut the taxes of ordinary working families by asking more of wealthiest. The wealthy paying more so that ordinary workers pay less, a budget for fairness."
The Lib Dems have floated a number of ideas for hitting the wealthiest, including proposals this weekend for a so-called "tycoon tax".
Party sources insisted it was "in the budget mix" but conceded much of the detail of how that would work in practice was yet to be thrashed out.