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4.45pm:

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: "The best way to secure living standards long-term is by cutting tax and removing politicians from managing the economy and public services.  But Brown’s PBR was a throwback to the 60s with its focus on how politicians can solve everything and boost science if they take more control.  This has never worked in the past and will mean that Britain keeps losing ground to the US and Asian economies.  It’s Harold Wilson all over again."

George Osborne: "He lets it be known with nods and winks that he will end the spin and eye-catching initiatives of the Blair years. But let there be no mistake; they were his years too – the Blair-Brown years.  The years of the clunking fist – the hospital cuts were his cuts, the failing schools are his failures, the pensions which were destroyed were destroyed by him.  The truth is this: Labour can only be new once and if the public want change they’re going to have to vote for change."

Andrew Haldenby of Reform: “Today’s announcement suggests that the Government is profoundly divided on education.  Last week Tony Blair argued that better learning comes from reform, based on stronger parental choice and better teaching.  Today Gordon Brown has ignored reform and spoken only of extra spending.  The evidence is on the Prime Minister’s side: schools spending has already risen in this decade from £26 billion to £43 billion without any impact on the trend of exam standards.”

4 comments for: Open thread on pre-Budget report

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