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Budget press watch

No easy choices
Financial Times

The Chancellor warned of hard times to come before the election. ‘No one doubted his fiscal hawkishness ’ observed a Financial Times editorial. ‘There is no question about the depth of Britain’s hole. It is also true that in such situations there are no easy choices: services must be cut and taxes put up.’

‘The Budget proposes a total fiscal tightening of £113 billion over the next five years – or 8.9% of current output as against the £73 billion planned by the last Government.’

There is ‘plenty of scope for political heat and tension’ as individual departments are faced with demands for very deep cuts the paper noted. ‘Mr Osborne has attempted to head off some of the turbulence ahead by designing a Budget that he describes as not only tough but also fair.

‘He certainly does well on the former...

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