By Edwin Lane
Economics reporter, BBC News
Chancellor Alistair Darling defended the government's handling of the economic crisis and its role in the recovery from recession in Wednesday's Budget.
But that did not stop him from revising down his growth expectations for 2011, underlining the fragility of the
, which only saw the UK emerge from recession with a growth rate of 0.3% in the last three months of 2009.
Mr Darling also took the credit for the recent falls in
, arguing that it had been government action that had prevented jobless levels from reaching the heights of the recessions in the 80s and 90s.
But the economic headline of the budget was the news that
this year would be less than previously forecast, totalling £167bn.
However, little extra detail was given on
cuts to public spending
, with the government prepared to wait until the autumn for a spending review, should it be re-elected.