Lib Dems would scrap DTI

Shadow chancellor Vincent Cable claimed the move would save £8.21bn over the next five years, largely by scaling back subsidies to industry.

Cable aimed to save a total of £25bn – £5bn a year – through this, scrapping Gordon Brown’s Child Trust Fund and other cuts in defence expenditure, farm subsidies and elsewhere to fund £21bn in spending commitments, including higher pensions for over 75s, smaller classes for younger children and other proposals.

He pledged : ‘Economic discipline and credibility are essential but we intend to balance these economic imperatives with greater social justice.’

Cable said the DTI did some useful things like fund blue skies science research but ‘serious cuts should be made in old fashioned bailouts’ and urged ‘tough choices’.

He also stood by pledges to end council tax, bring in local income tax and introduce a 50% tax rate on incomes over £100,000.

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