George Osborne compared to Mr Micawber by Lord Forsyth

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A former Conservative cabinet minister compared George Osborne to Charles Dickens' Mr Micawber character saying the chancellor was "hoping something will turn up".

Lord Forsyth said "we have got fixated with reducing the deficit" but the party should be "rather more radical" with tax cuts and he suggested a review of overseas aid and benefit increases.

And the Conservative peer questioned whether Mr Osborne's plan to give workers shares in a company - in return for giving up some employment rights - would work, adding: "I am not sure what problem he is trying to solve."

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