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Firemen retire at 50—but not all their work requires athleticism

The first set of figures released by George Osborne’s new office for budget responsibility on 14th June made grim reading. Government borrowing was down ever so slightly, but so were growth forecasts. So when the chancellor stood up to present his “emergency budget” on 22nd June, he had to offer comprehensive ways to cut spending without further damaging the fragile economic recovery. As Martin Wolf has persuasively argued, “bad cuts” risk not simply a double-dip recession, but a Japanese-style lost decade.

Osborne needs to save a decent amount of money:…

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