Osborne's budget surplus pledge

The Chancellor has raised the possibility of tax cuts by vowing to keep cutting public spending to create a budget surplus in the next parliament. He also announced the long-term unemployed face earning their benefits through unpaid community work.

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  1. Tom Bradby

Tories prepare to get tough on long-term unemployed

I think the only thing that really spooks the Tories as they gather here is that they might win the economic war, but lose the peace.

They saw that Ed Miliband got a big bounce last week from his energy announcement; they know that people are squeezed on the cost of living.

George Osborne is going to do two things tomorrow: One is to say that the battle on the economy is not done.

And two, they're going to say that if you have been unemployed for a long time you are either going to have to do full-time community work, or turn up and sign on in a job centre every day and be seen to be looking for work potentially all day.

Or alternatively, if you've got long-term problems like addictions or mental health issues, you will have to go on an intensive programme that deals with that.

I think the language will be quite hard. The slogans that are absolutely everywhere say: "For hardworking people".

Certainly on the question of welfare they are trying to ram that message home tomorrow.

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