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RELAX PUBLIC SPENDING GRIP CALL AS BORROWING FIGURES REVEALED

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The publication yesterday of the best set of public borrowing figures for seven years will lead to intensified pres...
The publication yesterday of the best set of public borrowing figures for seven years will lead to intensified pressure on the government to relax its iron grip on public spending, according to The Guardian (p1).

The figures show the public sector borrowing requirement has been cut to just£900m for 1997-98, down from more than£20bn the previous year, and it is expected that the treasury will come under to pressure to hand out more money.

One Labour MP said: 'In a year's time there will be pressure but not now.' However, last night Labour backbenchers were sharply divided as news filtered through the corridors of Westminster, with some tradional Labour members supporting a more generous approach.

'Helth and education ministers will be licking their lips as they plan their bids for more resources,' said Rhodri Morgan, MP for Cardiff West.

Labour's proposals will be spelled out when it releases details of its comprehensive spending review this summer, which will guide spending in the run-up to the next election.
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