That argument will be settled in the run-up to a Spending Review. If anything, the medium-term pressures on public services will be higher, reflecting issues such as big NHS waiting lists. For now, the Budget has achieved its two strategic aims: borrowing more now to extend immediate crisis support, then post-dating a huge cheque, paid for mainly by big business, to cover part of the bill. Most of the other parts in these plans can move and, if necessary, dramatically so.


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