"Some of the hyperbole I have heard is just preposterous – this idea, that somehow, it is back to the 1930s. After the spending round, we are still going to be spending £700bn of public money – more than we are now."
As understandable as Clegg's caution is over all this, it could prove counterproductive. In his column this morning, Ben Brogan quotes one minister thus: "If we have had a collective failure, it is that we have underplayed the scale of the problem." Many feel that it would be better to prepare the public for the worst.