The knives are out after the British government announced deep and wide-ranging budget cuts.
For the opposition, the reductions go too far, too soon. Shadow finance minister Alan Johnson attacked the plans as extreme.
He said: “I think this slash and burn approach runs the risk of damaging our economy. Yes, we have to get the deficit down, but we have to do it in a sure and steady way that ensures that there is some momentum in the private sector picking up, that we’ve got growth in the economy and not damaging those prospects by cutting too deeply and too quickly.”
The government though says it has no choice and having only been in office since May, is laying the blame at the feet of those now in opposition.
Defending the cuts, finance minister George Osborne said: “Look, what I’d say is we are dealing decisively with this country’s debts, which we inherited from the last Labour government, and if we don’t take this road, this country will face economic ruin.”
The spending cuts were greeted with a small protest outside parliament.
Many analysts say the government is gambling on the private sector being able to absorb many of the public sector job losses. Should that not be the case, it will be much harder for George Osborne to stick to his guns.