Kill or cure

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The FT got it right – their budget headline is:

Osborne delivers kill or cure Budget

There’s no doubt in Larry Elliott’s mind which it is:

This budget is a colossal gamble. There was little evidence before the election that Darling's fiscal plans – themselves draconian – were insufficient to keep the febrile financial markets sweet. The pound and gilts strengthened during the election campaign, even though the possibility of a hung parliament was ever-present. The international backdrop is less favourable now than it was two months ago, both because growth prospects are weaker and because the deficit-cutting fraternity have the upper hand in the G20. Far from being a terrible evil, government spending spared Britain from an even worse recession in 2008 and 2009, and Osborne's doctrinaire approach to deficit cutting risks not just slower growth and higher unemployment, but a fresh leg to the downturn.

Not all the lessons of the 1980s have been learned, it seems.

Kill it is then.