Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Budget update

Yawn, the most boring budget for ages. Given the difficult straights in which the Government finds its badly managed finance there were not too many tax rises. Boring budgets are good budgets though, they mean less taxes have been raised.

The tax rises are generally on the consumption side which is overall a good thing; at least you can try and avoid some of these taxes if you want too.

However, the over-arching feeling is of the nanny-state reaching into our lives even further, trying to dissuade us from bad behaviours like drinking a glass of red or driving a car.

This is less a budget than a missionary statement which shows the dead hand of Gordon Brown behind even the minutiae.

There are some more specific energy points that I will leave to Nick Drew to cover off later in the week.

As an assessment though it shows how poorly a state the country is in, over-taxed to the point at which the Government dare not raise too much more revenue even when it needs to. Instead making us poorer in the future by borrowing now to cover future spending. We have not even had a recession and are already at a 2.9% budget deficit, this could easily shoot to near on 5% in the next couple of years. Bumpy ride ahead.


Old BE said...

Is there any chance at all that growth will be near 2% this year and next? I just don't believe it!

CityUnslicker said...

it is always easier to see the downsides rather than the upsides - however, the whole budget is based on fingers crossed estimates!

Anonymous said...

One of the most scandalous comments during the budget speech (which sounded like it was written by Gordon Brown) was the idea that we should be impressed by Labour keeping the UK budget deficit lower than that of the US and Japan!

That struck me as one of those cynical Labour comments that would have those with any knowledge at all of what is happening in the world of economics reaching for the sick bucket whilst those that can presumably be encouraged to vote Labour will let it pass, knowing no better. It seemed to be a cynical, tacit admission that Labour can do as it pleases because its core voters are ignorant and easily led.

Even by its own admission the government will be overspending by 10% in 2008. By my estimates that means that about 1million jobs in the UK are dependent on the government getting its credit card out and making a future Tory government take the hard decisions about how to repay the balance. So much for democracy...

Anonymous said...

When are they going to stop talking about 15 years ago like it was yesterday?

What possible relevance can Tory budgets in 1996 have to today ?

I notice the normal cost of car tax ,not that increase for new cars but all cars, has risen this morning.

Perhaps it was in that bit between when he opened his mouth to speak and when I awoke to hear him say 'I commend this budget to the house'

Good to hear Jeremy Vine not letting him off his 'we have put measures in place to ride out the storm' bollocks this afternoon.

3 times Vine asked him why when his forecasts have been hopelessly wrong since 2001, they would suddenly be right now.
The sock puppet gave some tractor production numbers but Vine kept on. Very unusual for this softest of interviewers.
Never mind Alistair, it will be easier on The Paul O'Grady Show later on.
Don't remember that being mentioned.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - well these are the tricks that they play. Just a few years ago we laughed as France and germany skirted with breaking the stability pact.

Well by those terms we would be heading for a big miss this year and for 3 years to come.

No one is laughing now, except Ed Balls.

Mark Wadsworth said...


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