"Early drafts of the EC's assessment of the UK's public finances show that Brussels will urge the Treasury to put together more ambitious debt reduction plans. The warning will play into the hands of the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, who warned that waiting to produce a stringent budget-cutting plan would undermine Britain's credibility.
In a report on the fiscal plans put together by a range of European economies, the EC will chide Britain for failing to guarantee that it will meet the Maastricht limit for budget deficits of 3pc of gross domestic product by 2014/15. According to a draft obtained by Reuters, the Commission will say: "The overall conclusion is that the fiscal strategy in the convergence programme is not sufficiently ambitious and needs to be significantly reinforced. A credible timeframe for restoring public finances to a sustainable position requires additional fiscal tightening measures beyond those currently planned."