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With ten days to go... briefings on the Budget

Even if your only glance at a newspaper is the free one on the bus on the way to work, or you watch our bulletins only for our well-loved 'and finally' items, you can hardly have avoided the fact that in ten days there will be a Budget.

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget next week Credit: Press Association

This year, it'll take place when the government is doing precisely opposite of what it hoped and promised. The economy is stuck in the doldrums. And instead of spending and borrowing less, government spending is still going up, despite deep cuts in many departments, and the government is borrowing more from the financial markets to keep afloat. Whether the Chancellor is managing to pay down the deficit at all this year will be a key political test next week.

It is not surprising then that there are lots of people and interested parties providing the Chancellor with a helpful list of ideas. Today the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce and the EEF, the engineering organisation, add their voices to those calling for the government to get on with the measures that it has already promised to get growth going, and to get cash flowing to construction and infrastructure. Vince Cable is out and about again, thinking the almost unthinkable for someone inside coalition, suggesting that the Government chooses to borrow more to spend it.

At the other end of the spectrum, Liam Fox, the former Conservative Defence Secretary says all spending should be frozen for five years - a controversial, but clear sighted idea.

But there is not much sign that the Chancellor is ready to shift from his position. As for all politicians, you can never please all of the people all of the time. But in this economy, and with the political restrictions of coalition too, the reality for George Osborne may well be that he ends up pleasing hardly anyone.