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EU leak 'criticises UK deficit policies'

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The government is getting an unwelcome message from Brussels this week, a judgement about the pace of deficit reduction that will be rather different from the Chancellor's when he makes his budget speech a week today. In a draft report leaked to the Reuters news agency the European Commission says that the plan in insufficiently "ambitious" with respect to the EU target of getting deficits down to a gap of 3% of economic output within five years. It will certainly be used a piece of ammunition by the Conservatives which have made a similar criticism of the government's plan. Europe editor Gavin Hewitt discusses the leaked draft document and whether the UK's economic forecast may be too optimistic.

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