Now or later?
The political and economic argument which will shape not just the next few months but the next few years is highlighted clearly this morning.
The new shadow chancellor Alan Johnson will deliver a speech this morning, claiming that the government has "lashed itself to the mast of a deficit reduction plan that has more to do with the date of the next general election than with the economic cycle". He will argue that there is an alternative to the chancellor's approach which involves greater flexibility in uncertain economic times.
This comes as 35 business leaders ranging from the head of Asda to the chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and the chief executive of Next have written a letter, backing the chancellor's plan to cut debt on the timescale he's already set out as a way to avoid rises in interest rates and taxes.
Gordon Brown used to shout at his colleagues that they could never win a debate between "nice Labour cuts and nasty Tory cuts". That's precisely where the coalition will want the debate to lie - demanding to know what Labour would cut instead.
Ed Miliband has taken a defining political step by ignoring his former boss and trying to portray the Tories as cutting too far too fast as they are driven by a mixture of politics and ideology.