This at the very moment when fear about the sustainability of sovereign debt is the greatest risks to the recovery of European economies.
Questions that were asked about the liquidity and solvency of banking systems are now being asked of the liquidity and solvency of some of the governments that stand behind those banks.
Past prudence was an excuse for future irresponsibility.
This Budget is needed to give confidence to our economy. I am not going to hide hard choices from the British people or bury them in the small print of the Budget documents. The coalition Government has inherited from its predecessor the largest budget deficit of any economy in Europe with the single exception of Ireland. And it protects the most vulnerable in our society. This is an emergency Budget, so let me speak plainly about the emergency that we face.The power the Chancellor has enjoyed for centuries to determine the growth and fiscal forecasts now resides with an independent body immune to the temptations of the political cycle.And we have examined, decided on and in some cases halted the mass of unfunded commitments, IOUs and overcommitted reserves that greeted us on entering office.