Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Darling Must Cut Rather Than Spend

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Darling Must Cut Rather Than Spend

Article excerpt

TOMORROW'S Budget is going to be the sort that most chancellors would prefer not to deliver: a combination of bad news and poor forecasts and austerity measures to deal with them. Very different, then, from the giveaway budgets that Gordon Brown presented as Chancellor, which, arguably, created at least part of our present problems.

But ahead of the inevitable public spending cuts, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has advertised the sweeteners in his pill: a billion-pound boost to the housing sector. Some of the measures build on those already announced last September. The reduction of stamp duty to zero will be extended to the end of the year, which may give a fillip to the cautious growth in the housing market. The Government will intervene to help private developers struggling to complete projects. This will include bearing the cost of infrastructure that is normally borne by the private sector, including road building. There will be a new spate of council house building and there will be further support in the benefit system for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. …

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