Ruth Porter writes for the Huffington Post

To give the Chancellor credit, there is now no serious politician arguing that we don’t need to reduce the deficit and find a way to run a balanced budget again in the long-term. Given we are spending almost as much this year on debt interest as we are on education, that is something to be thankful for.

The challenge for the government is that growth forecasts have been overly optimistic. Since they came to power the economy has staggered along the bottom and so although the deficit has been reduced by around a third, in order to meet his targets George Osborne has had to find an additional £11.5bn of savings.

The difficulty today has been to face the immense task of reforming public spending whilst straight-jacketed by ring-fences around certain area of spending.

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