By politics.co.uk staff
Nick Clegg has called for Britain to make a £10 billion "repayment" to cut the public deficit.
The Liberal Democrat leader said he would find the money by making savings of £15 billion in public spending and announce where these savings would come from later this month.
With more and more polls pointing to a hung parliament focus on the Lib Dems is inevitably turning to the question of whether they will support the Conservatives or Labour into government.
In an interview with the Independent newspaper Mr Clegg has outlined four 'tests' which he would demand in return for support.
He wants to see tax thresholds raised to £10,000; a "pupil premium" helping children from poor families; measures to develop a greener economy; and electoral reform.
Mr Clegg appears determined to provide solace for financial markets responding negatively to the prospect of a hung parliament.
"We are the guarantee that it will be taken seriously because we are candid and open about the enormity of the problem," he said.
"If you are worried that the Tories would cut the deficit from day one when there is no economic case and when the effect would be unfair, you can rely on us to make sure that cuts would be implemented when the economy can sustain it and in a way that is fairly distributed."
Lib Dem spending cut policies will be announced before the Budget, which will be unveiled on March 24th.