BRITAIN is suffering a deep economic crisis, with output falling and unemployment rising.

The most shocking aspect of the Budget is the huge scale of Government debt. Our country will borrow £175 billion this year, and even that estimate is optimistic.

The numbers are enormous: our debt is increasing by £480 million every single day, or £20 million every hour.

Independent experts predict that Government debt will not get down to a reasonable level until 2032. This is a massive problem that casts a shadow over everything. It will impact on all the decisions taken over the next generation.

So what needs to be done?

The first and most important task is to get the economy growing again. That will increase prosperity and tax revenue.

A second option is to raise the overall tax burden, but household incomes are already tight, especially for people on typical Somerset wages, so this should be avoided.

But a third option, although it is unpalatable, is necessary.

We are living way beyond our means, and serious decisions will have to be made to reduce Government spending, regardless of which party is in power.

The priority is to get our public finances under control, but also keep taxes reasonable, protect frontline services and deliver better value-for-money. It will not be easy.