Denis Healey knew what to do with the IMF. They don’t believe George Osborne has a clue.

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As the Guardian has noted:

George Osborne is under mounting pressure to moderate his austerity strategy after the International Monetary Fund went public with fears that the pace of budget cuts is too severe for Britain's ailing economy.

The fund said it would be holding talks with the chancellor about his tax and spending plans in the wake of gloomy forecasts that subjected the UK to the biggest growth downgrade of any developed country for 2013 and 2014.

Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, singled out Britain as a country that needed to adopt a less aggressive approach to deficit reduction.

Speaking at the release of the fund's half-yearly World Economic Outlook (WEO), Blanchard said: "In the face of very weak private demand, it may be time to consider adjustment to the original fiscal plans."

What's the significance, beyond the obvious fact that Osborne has got this very badly wrong.

Well, the Tories have always liked to say that when Denis Healey had to turn to the IMF it was a sign of failure. But at least he know what he had to do. What's clear is that the IMF don't have that confidence in Osborne. And that's the significance of this.