Peter Hoskin

A warning that applies to the Tories as much as it does to Labour

A warning that applies to the Tories as much as it does to Labour
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As James Kirkup says over at the Telegraph, it's worth paying attention to the credit rating agency Fitch when it says that the UK deficit will need to be cut quicker than is currently planned – to 3.3 percent of GDP by 2015, rather than 4.4 percent.  Throw in similar warnings from the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors yesterday, and you've got a bunch of testimonies which are broadly supportive of the Tory narrative.  You can expect CCHQ to give them plenty of airtime over the next few days.   

But, lest it need repeating, the pleas from the CBI and others could well be directed at the Tories as well as Labour.  Sure, Cameron & Co. say that they would cut further and faster – but, when it comes to the details of what to cut and when, the similarities between them and Brown's government are striking.  Indeed, as I've said before, we're largely taking it on trust that the Tories have a plan sufficient to the scale of the debt problem – even though there are timorous signs that that trust will turn out to be well-placed.  

In the meantime, the think-tanks and other non-party political bodies, like the CBI, are doing most of the running when it comes to identifying specific candidates for chop.  Perhaps that's all we should expect with an election around the corner.  But, for the time being, the debt markets look on nervously.