Former Liberal Democrat media boss Mark Littlewood slams Nick Clegg's plan for higher taxes

 
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Nick Clegg under fire from former spin doctor (Source: Getty)

The former chief spin doctor for the Lib Dems has condemned the party's plans for massive tax hikes after the General Election.

The Lib Dems set out their fiscal offer to the nation today pledging an additional £8bn of tax rises to help balance the books by 2017-18. Party leader Nick Clegg added they would be seeking £16bn of spending cuts.

The Lib Dems have attempted to position themselves as the moderate alternative to Ed Miliband and David Cameron. The party, which is tanking in the opinion polls, boast they would "cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour".

Clegg vowed the Lib Dems would ensure the wealthy would pay their "fair share".

But this message wasn't cutting it with Mark Littlewood who served as the party's head of media between 2004 and 2007 and now leads the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

"High taxes reduce the incentive to work, save, and invest in the UK. Policies such as an increased bank levy or mansion tax not only smack of the politics of envy, but are economically unsound. The wealthy are already huge contributors, with those earning over £150,000 paying nearly 30 per cent of all income tax. Politicians should be cultivating this tax base, not eroding it" said Littlewood.

He was similarly unimpressed by the Lib Dems' plan to ring-fence spending on schools, the NHS and foreign aid - something which the Conservatives have also committed to - describing it as "bad economics".

"To create the conditions for long-term prosperity, politicians need to review not only the scale of state spending but also the scope of government" Littlewood argued.

"No government in the last fifty years has seemed capable of raising much more than 35 per cent of national income from taxation, whatever the overall mix of tax policies they have implemented. This means we need to find much greater savings in the state sector unless we are willing to continue to send the bill for today's spending on to our children and grandchildren", said Littlewood.

Clegg hopes to raise £1.5bn from a levy on high-value properties and a further £6bn by cracking down on tax avoidance.

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