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Will Alistair Darling take on the Prime Minister over the forthcoming budget?

While Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown are known to be at loggerheads regarding the forthcoming UK budget, indeed there is even talk that the budget could be scrapped before the election, there is a growing feeling that Alistair Darling is becoming more and more confident. This week we saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer issue an astounding statement suggesting that "Number 10" had been guilty of briefing against him in the press after he suggested the UK economic downturn would be the worst since the 1930s.

Gordon Brown has been questioned about these allegations over the last few days and while he has refused to confirm or deny whether he "set the dogs on Alistair Darling" the relationship between the two former friends is known to be frosty to say the least. Many believe that Gordon Brown's inability to clamp down on Alistair Darling's comments this week has given the Chancellor more confidence for the future. Indeed, in a last throw of the dice he may well fight any move by Gordon Brown to maintain or even increase public sector investment in the short term.

The UK budget deficit is a major concern for investors and the UK government but Gordon Brown does not believe now is the time to reduce investment in the public sector, something which is certainly at loggerheads to the views of Alistair Darling. So which one of these heavyweights will eventually win the day with regards to the forthcoming budget?

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