Speaking yesterday about the principles behind the party’s general election manifesto, Clegg blasted both parties for “bombarding people with gimmicks and promises the country can no longer afford”.
He said Labour and Tory tactics of treating people like children are not winning over the general public.
Instead, he said the Lib Dems promise to treat voters like adults, stick to its big ideas for real change and be guided by strong values.
He outlined four steps for a “fairer” Britain, including fair taxes and clean, open politics.
He said: “Our tax plan would be the biggest tax reform in a generation. It is needed because, in our society, money gives people power. When money is unevenly distributed, so is power.
“Of course, no tax system should try to create total equality of income. But it can and should help redistribute some wealth – and power – to alleviate the worst excesses of inequality.
“Under Labour’s unfair taxes, however, power is taken away from the poorest and given to the richest because the poorest 20 per cent pay the highest proportion of their income in tax. While the richest people and the biggest corporations can effectively pick and choose what taxes to pay.
“That is why tax reform is top of our list.”
Clegg said the Lib Dems will close loopholes for the richest and introduce a tax on mansions to fund tax cuts of £700 for everyone else. He continued: “No-one will pay income tax on the first £10,000 they earn, meaning tax freedom for millions of low earners and pensioners, while millions more get hundreds of pounds back in their pockets.
“Only the Liberal Democrats will make taxes permanently fair.”