The Tories are "crackers" for wanting to "slash" education spending, Nick Clegg has claimed in a scathing attack on his Coalition Government partners.
The Liberal Democrat leader also alleged that David Cameron's party want a "massive reduction" in the amount of government money going into schools and hospitals.
"They want to slash spending on education. We thinks that's crackers. Just when there was light at the end of the tunnel – you've almost finished the job – why on earth would you slash spending on nurseries and colleges rather than asking the very richest to pay just a little bit extra to get the job done?" he told LBC Radio.
The deputy prime minister made the remarks ahead of the Liberal Democrat's alternative budget, which will be unveiled by the chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander later today (19 March).
George Osborne unveiled his budget to MPs in the House of Commons yesterday and revealed that, among other things, the government will raise the personal allowance for income tax to £11,000 and give tax breaks to hard hit North Sea oil firms.
Ed Balls took to the airwaves this morning and admitted that a Labour government would not reverse any of the Chancellor's measures.
But the shadow chancellor also told BBC Radio 4's Today show that he would make economic reforms in a less "nasty way".
"They've done it in such an unfair and harsh and nasty way which has divided our country and left very many vulnerable people in our country in very difficult circumstances," Balls said.
The comment come with less than 50 days to go before the general election in May, with Labour two points ahead of the Tories (36% vs 34%) in the latest poll from YouGov.
The survey, of more than 1,800 voters, also put the Liberal Democrats on 7%, Ukip on 12% and the Greens on 6%.