George Osborne has hit out at warnings about the impact of a fresh round of government spending cuts on public services, branding them "nonsense".
The Chancellor condemned "hyperbolic" coverage of the UK's fiscal outlook and insisted the Tories would set the UK on "a course to prosperity".
He launched into Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys on the Today programme, saying:
You had BBC correspondents saying Britain is returning to a George Orwell world of the Road to Wigan Pier. It is just such nonsense. I thought the BBC would have learnt over the past four years that its totally hyperbolic coverage of spending cuts has not been matched by what has actually happened
What I reject is the totally hyperbolic BBC coverage of spending reductions. I had all that when you were interviewing me four years ago and has the world fallen in? No, it hasn't.
The Chancellor must tell voters whether what he's proposing is really a re-think of the role of the state.
For all the criticism of spending reductions under the Coalition, there are actually more cuts to come after 2015.
Could what seems like a lifeline for buyers - the overhaul of the unpopular stamp duty - actually make it harder to land a property?