Having propped up the Tory-led coalition for half a decade, Nick Clegg turned his ire on his partners in government on Saturday, warning that future plans for the economy under a Tory majority would be "deeply regressive and unfair."
Effectively ending the coalition before the dissolution of parliament at the end of the month, Clegg said that discussions over Wednesday's Budget were "pretty well finalised" before blustering about the Chancellor and David Cameron.
Clegg at the spring conference, possibly trying to spot his successor
Speaking at the Liberal Democrats' spring conference, he said: "We've got a Budget on Wednesday, which Danny (Alexander) and I have been working on a lot in endless discussions with George Osborne and David Cameron over the last several weeks. We pretty well finalised it yesterday in internal discussions. That's in effect the last act of significant decision-making by this coalition Government."
Earlier Clegg echoed Business Secretary Vince Cable's assessment that the Tories were prejudiced against "workers, shirkers and burqas," telling activists in Liverpool that his party had succeeded in stopping the Tories implementing their economic strategy over the past five years, claiming it would have left the country poorer and more divided.
Clegg lambasted the “kind of macro-economic policy the Conservatives want to pursue on their own,” calling it “radical, but it's also deeply regressive and unfair.” He added: "It's an extraordinarily hardline ideological assertion that only the working age poor should pick up the tab and make any further sacrifices to balance the books. They have to pick up the tab for the mistakes of the bankers."
He continued: "And they want to cut billions and billions and billions more from public services than is economically necessary even after the deficit has been dealt with. That is what we have stopped. They would have done that over the last half a decade. They would have done that and we would have been economically poorer and we would have been socially much, much more divided and we stopped that."