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As some interpret today’s narrowing of the Conservative poll lead as a grateful public showing its appreciation to Labour for the Pre-Budget Report, David Cameron is today ratcheting up his attacks on the Government’s handling of the economy.

On this morning’s Today programme, he announced that, having studied the figures in the PBR, the Conservatives are now in a position to say that the party would not stick to Labour’s spending plans for 2010. He attacked the Government’s decision to borrow more and cut VAT now and "whack up taxes later" as both "profoundly wrong" and a "massive mistake".

He added that by borrowing a further £20 billion when we were already at the limits of what is acceptable created a "real danger" of putting "the whole economy at risk" with our public finances potentially in a situation comparable to that of Italy.

Mr Cameron added that there was now a "real choice" facing the British people over how to handle the economy and that the only way to avoid the risks posed by Labour’s policies was to have an election now and turf them out of office.

He will be setting out his position in a speech to the London School of Economics in which he will contrast Labour’s short-termism with his own "responsible" determination to "get a grip" on public spending.

Here is a key excerpt of the speech which has been released in advance:

"A very clear choice is emerging in British politics today. It is about how we deal with the greatest economic problem to confront this generation – the recession and the record level of public debt.

"Labour’s response is to ignore the fact that we’re already borrowing at record levels, deliberately borrow another £20 billion for short-term giveaways today – and leave worrying about the debt until tomorrow.

"The Conservative response is to recognise that we cannot go on as we are: that when you’re already borrowing so much it is wrong to deliberately borrow even more. Instead we should get spending under control to set our economy on a sustainable path. This is a very big and profound choice.

"I think everyone knows that fiscal responsibility is right for our economy tomorrow. My argument this morning is that it’s also right for today."

Jonathan Isaby

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