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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How will Osborne reduce the deficit?

The Chancellor, George Osborne, is expected to extend his austerity programme of welfare cuts and tax rises when he presents his autumn statement this afternoon.

Tough economic conditions mean the government has not raised as much money as it had hoped in taxes and it is likely that borrowing forecasts will rise.

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, economics editor Stephanie Flanders, and home affairs editor Mark Eastern analysed the implications of the statement for the UK.

Stephanie Flanders told Today presenter Evan Davis that George Osborne is going to have to "abandon or modify" at least one of his fiscal rules that he stood up when he came into power in 2010.

"We are looking at eight years of austerity now," she added.

Nick Robinson explained that the watchword inside coalition government on spending and deficit reduction is "not a penny more, not a penny less".

Mark Eastern said that the chancellor now understands that he has "the public on his side" when it comes to cuts on the welfare, and emphasised public support of the government's "strivers versus skivers message".

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