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HS3: Does a high speed rail project mean austerity’s over?

George Osborne may know something we don't

By Emran Mian  

Read our coverage of Manchester’s remarkable success as a city

Government borrowing on the latest figures was up on last year, despite the economic recovery. By a rough count, the Chancellor has £36bn of further cuts to make after the next election. If tax revenues don’t start climbing soon, that figure will head north. In the meantime, his backbenchers want tax cuts and he is facing pressure from the NHS for relief funding. And, now he has announced a proposal for a new high-speed rail line. Does he know something we don’t?

It may be that Osborne’s internal reckoners tell…

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