Pro-austerity Chancellor George Osborne faced warnings yesterday that he is plunging Britain into "a decade of despair" unless he pursues a growth agenda.
Public-sector union Unison published its alternative to the coalition's failing austerity package before Wednesday's Budget that could set the country on the road to recovery.
The union argued the case for ditching harsh austerity measures in favour of a pro-growth strategy involving job creation and a package of early investment in infrastructure, homes and services.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said that Mr Osborne was "bankrupt of ideas" and he was "dragging the country the same way."
He said Mr Osborne needed to look beyond Westminster and "come up with a Budget that helps the many, not just the privileged few.
"It is time to face up to what most people have known all along - Osborne's austerity agenda is making matters worse."
But Mr Osborne said there would be "touch choices" in Wednesday's Budget and warned that adandoning austerity would be a "disaster."
He added that there were "no easy answers" to Britain's economic woes and insisted that failing to tackle the country's debt would leave Britain on the brink of a crisis like Cyprus, which he used as an example of "what happens if you don't show the world that you can pay your way."
Mr Osborne ominously indicated that the government will speed up a new, simple state pension system and a cap on the cost of social care.
Meanwhile a ComRes opinion poll suggests most voters, including more than a quarter of Tory supporters, believe Mr Osborne's policies are failing.