The received wisdom perpetuated by the government is that deep and immediate public spending cuts are necessary and beneficial, says Simon Barrow. But there are strong economic arguments that point towards investment in long-term sustainability rather than hitting the most vulnerable to reduce the deficit.
The Government's emergency budget will have taken a gigantic £40 billion out of the economy by 2014-15 at a time when the recovery is fragile, and cuts will hit those with fewest resources hardest, say critics.
Amid the welter of statistics and analysis which is pouring forth around Chancellor George Osborne's emergency budget, those who care for social justice should not let their eyes stray from the sleights of hand that rest at its core.
In the run-up to the government's 'emergency budget', the overwhelming political consensus, parroted each day by the BBC’s economic correspondents, is that ’balancing the budget’ and ’slashing the deficit’ is now a national priority.