Liberal Democrats to launch "serious" manifesto

Party says it cannot rule out tax rises after the election, but pledges an increase in state pension

The Liberal Democrats will present their election manifesto later today, saying that it is a "serious" plan for government.

The booklet focuses upon fair taxes, more chances for children, a fairer and greener economy, and cleaning up politics.

It contains a stinging attack on Labour's civil liberties record. Leader Nick Clegg told the Guardian: "The division between the Lib Dems and Labour on civil liberties is as wide today as it was at the height of Blair's authoritarian populism."

The manifesto will pledge to raise the state pension each year, either in line with earnings, by at least 2.5 per cent, or to meet the increase in the Retail Price Index measure of inflation - whichever is highest.

A salary rise for the armed forces, and a cap on political donations, will also be promised.

The party says that it cannot rule out tax rises to reduce the deficit after the election, but that their focus is on cutting spending outside frontline areas.

It says that voters can "trust" their manifesto as financial tables at the back will outline in detail how every spending pledge will be funded.