Top economists unsure of Brown's forecasts
Top economists from financial think-tanks have warned that Gordon Brown's plans for public finances may be over-optimistic and leave little room for error.
Speaking to a Treasury select committee, when asked whether chancellor Brown could be described as prudent, four out of the five economists said they could not do so without qualification.
They also warned that Brown may be forced to raise taxes to meet his spending plans during the current parliament.
Brown was forced to increase borrowing to £20bn this year and £24bn next year but expects this number to decrease afterwards as the economy and company profits start to pick up again.
The economist, however, were concerned that the recovery of tax revenues will not pick up as quickly as has been anticipated in the pre-Budget report, which could leave a hole in the government’s figures.