“This is worrying news for the state of the public finances.
“The weakness of the economy is having an inevitable impact on tax receipts.
“These figures underline the importance of having a credible plan to tackle the deficit and stimulate growth and jobs to strengthen future tax receipts.
“Simply slashing spending now regardless of the economic circumstances is not only a fruitless labour but a damaging one. If we cut too soon, the economy will be pushed back into recession, lowering tax revenues even further and negating the effect of the cuts.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have a clear and concise plan for dealing with the deficit and for promoting the long-term growth and security of our economy.”