In his keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats' annual conference in Bournemouth, the party’s Treasury spokesman said that senior managers - rather than frontline staff - should bear the brunt of necessary public spending cuts.
"The coward's way is to sack or squeeze the pay of low paid public sector workers. The correct way is to start at the top: require every non-front line public sector employee on£100,000 or more to reapply for their jobs.
"Those allowed back would take a cut in pay and public sector pension entitlement.
“We've got to stop the gravy train of management consultancy in government; stop questionable government IT projects like that for the NHS and insist that procurement is from the cheapest, open source; and take an axe to the overgrown thickets of quango land.”
Mr Cable told the conference he wanted to cut public spending to fund tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes.