Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

UK facing hard slog, says Vince Cable

Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable on a 'good budget for bingo and boilers'

The Lib Dems say ministers are not being honest about the "hard slog" facing the economy after Alistair Darling unveiled a number of tax rises.

Reacting to the pre-Budget report, the party's Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said Labour had postponed decisions on spending cuts until after the election.

The tax rises would hit those on lower and middle incomes, he said.

He called for a national recovery plan incorporating "fair but realistic" measures on tax, pay and pensions.

Referring to two of the measures announced by Mr Darling, Mr Cable dismissed the chancellor's statement as a "good budget for bingo and boilers but not much else".

Mr Cable criticised Labour plans to tax excessive bank bonuses as "gesture politics" and questioned how the government would stop banks converting such payments into basic salaries.

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