Writing in the Guardian, business secretary Vince Cable says the impact of yesterday's Budget will be "painful".
The emergency Budget will be painful. "The cuts in spending and the increases in tax will be felt by everyone, resented by some but understood, I think, by most.
"Our coalition Government is united in accepting that its first duty is to clean up the fiscal mess it inherited. Not any old mess but a great, steaming pile of manure. Someone has to remove it. We can't just hide the smell beneath the perfume of optimistic forecasts or rely on natural decay.
"It should be no surprise that this is such a tough Budget. Last summer, in pamphlets and speeches, Nick Clegg and I both prepared the ground for these difficult choices. Once the election came, however, the debate settled upon the question of the timing of the first wave of cuts, an issue that was largely artificial.
Well done. Try as you might to pick holes in George Osborne's first Budget, it is hard - given the daunting size of the challenge - not to be impressed.
The Chancellor promised to get to grips with the deficit, he promised to be fair, he promised to be open, and though final judgment will plainly have to await implementation and results, he seemed broadly to deliver.
After all the dire warnings of life-changing measures, he even made it sound relatively painless. This, it is not.
With a hint of mischief and a whiff of conviction, George Osborne claims his Budget is progressive.
The term is a conveniently flexible one, but not without any meaning at all. It is not progressive to plan for spending cuts on a scale that takes the breath away. Parts of the Budget were astutely judged, but overall Osborne's debut veered more towards the reactionary, at times dangerously so.
This is a shame, as there is within the new Chancellor a partial progressive trying to get out. While the Budget is largely a loud scream against the state it is not wholly so. Osborne has given some serious thought to where government activity can be effective and where it is potentially stifling.
He deserves credit for protecting spending on capital projects and targeting some of the undoubted excesses in other areas of current spending.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Vitality at Work scheme
Reporting to Steve Hill
Appointed on 19 September