The very language of cuts has been markedly austere and depressing. It is now well established that the reductions the government will make to overall spending are actually tiny. Carving it back to around 40% of GDP by 2017 will take it to roughly the average amount the government spent under Tony Blair - hardly a radical plan.
The coming budget is the chance for George Osborne to reframe this discussion. If he can find further reductions he can create the conditions that will allow more growth in the economy – through tax cuts and more space for private enterprise. A thriving economy means more jobs, more prosperity, more opportunities for people, better education and better healthcare. Spring is a good time to send a more optimistic message for Britain’s future.