“George Osborne and David Cameron seem to be at sixes and sevens on the crucial question of how the deficit should be addressed.
“The Liberal Democrats have been arguing for some time that there should be five tests on when and how we start to cut. This must reflect the position of the economy rather than political expediency.
“The public must understand that we take the deficit very seriously. But it has to be addressed in a way that doesn’t put us back into another round of recession, resulting in job losses and an even larger deficit.
“The time to cut the deficit is when the private sector is ready to take the lead in growth and job creation. We are clearly not at that point yet.”