How bad is the national deficit?
7 January 2014 Last updated at 00:22 GMT
A further £25bn spending cuts, much of it from the welfare budget, will be needed after the next election, Chancellor George Osborne has warned.
Although he said the government's economic strategy was working, with the deficit down by a third since 2010, he warned that the job of repairing the public finances would take many more years.
Hugh Pym reports.