Peter Hoskin

Cameron previews the austerity budget

Cameron previews the austerity budget
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Tick, tock, tick, tock: only three-and-a-bit days to go until George Osborne's long-anticipated austerity Budget, and the coalition is gearing up its efforts to prepare us for the worst.  Exhibit A is David Cameron's interview in the Times this morning, which contains few pleasantries and a whole heap of stern talk  – particularly for those in the public sector.  As the PM puts it:

"There is no way of dealing with an 11 per cent budget deficit just by hitting either the rich of the welfare scrounger … there are three large items of spending that you can't ignore and those are public sector pay, public sector pensions and benefits."

Which is all sensible enough.  Our deficit and debt burdens are what they are, and need dealing with in swift order.  But it will be worth keeping an eye on whether all this austerity is leavened with some positivity over the coming week: a glimpse, as Andrew Grice says in the Independent, of the "destination," and not just the budget airline that's taking us there.