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Alistair Darling will do whatever it takes to balance the books

Last night's Mansion house speech caused great controversy when Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, demanded further regulatory powers for the bank however Alistair Darling also made a number of potentially controversial comments. The Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested that there are "green shoots" of recovery in the UK economy but that any potential expansion of the UK business arena would lead to increased taxes.

Confirming that he would "do whatever it takes to balance the books" Alistair Darling has opened a significant debate ahead of the next general election. While the Conservative party are trying to take the moral high ground, suggesting that tax rates will have to rise and investment will fall, the Labour Party appears to be in a state of infighting. It is rumoured that various Cabinet ministers want to be "honest" with the public while others believe it is best to keep their investment plans under wraps until the election is over.

Who will be found out and who will eventually win the day remains to be seen but the next general election could be the closest and dirtiest we have seen for some time.

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