Darling defends spending

ALISTAIR Darling yesterday defended the use of a fiscal stimulus to ride out the economic downturn.<br /><br />He reiterated that the government had no intention of cutting off the economy any time soon, despite a ballooning budget deficit.<br /><br />&ldquo;We and all the other countries are doing the same thing, we&rsquo;re putting money into our economy to support our economy and to take it out prematurely, not to have done so would have been utter madness,&rdquo; he said on the BBC Politics Show. <br /><br />The comments were seen as an attempt to contrast the government&rsquo;s stance with the Conservatives&rsquo; spending plans, but also fuelled speculation that the chancellor might use the Pre-Budget Report next month to announce further stimulus measures. Last month&rsquo;s shock GDP figures, which showed the economy in recession in the third quarter, prompted calls for a further spending boost.