Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Pre-Budget post

The UK Budget is tomorrow and even the newspapers are getting themselves into a flap about what may or may not happen.

Canny readers of this blog have been voting on the post to the right all week on the likely outcome: all round tax rises.

The only piece missing is the details of who is to suffer. Having studied the incumbent of 11 Downing street for some months now, I think Badger himself is unlikely to know many answers as they hunt the floor for the backs of envelopes upon which Gordon has sent through his myriad and contradictory instructions.

Do in the Non-Dom's! Leave them alone!
Tax petrol and all things green! No stop it!

All very contradictory. However, the spin today is at a new level, suggesting pure doom and gloom, this comes straight from the spin playbook so that the relatively bad news tomorrow is welcomed as better-than-expected.

Whether this will work we can judge with Thursday's media response. For my interest I am intrigued to see the guesstimates for UK growth and government borrowing for the coming year as I expect these to be heroic!

These are key because if there any surprises this year there is little fiscal room to manoeuvre for the government and next year may well be an election year. A quiet budget is not a good budget from this perspective as it shows no new ideas or change going into what will be choppy waters on the macroeconomic front.

As for my predictions;

some wheeze on national rate of tax
petrol tax to rise
another attack on airlines/air travel
Non-doms to get some get out clauses, but still to be hit
minor reliefs for pensioners etc.


Old BE said...

Do you mean more of a wheeze than the already-announced 2p "cut" in the basic rate?

CityUnslicker said...

exactly, another wheeze on that level no doubt - enough to fool The SUn in any event!

Old BE said...

I've been meaning to do a rant about it, perhaps I shall work myself into a lather on the way home.

M said...

A bit of tinkering round the edges, not enough to please those who want greater wealth redistribution (based on anything but merit), and certainly nothing for those who already shoulder most of the burden i.e. the middle classes (including those sections of the middle class who insist they're still working class really).

Bill Quango MP said...

Play Budget Bingo tomorrow, for free.

Choose 6 words or phrases from the following at random. When Alistair Darling has said one of them cross it of your list. The winner is the first to have all six called.

temporary public ownership.
Solid government performance.
Sustainable Biofuels.
Meeting our spending commitments.
Balanced Budget.
International Monetry Fund.
Increased Spending on..
Value for the tax-payer.
Curb on binge drinking.
A Review of ...
Credit Crunch.
US subprime mortgage crisis.
Growth will fall slightly.
Tackling Inflation.
To hold off the 10p rate abolition until 2009.
Gas guzzling 4x4s
a 2p-a-litre rise in fuel duty
inheritance tax [review]

The winner gets to pick the new chancellor in september.

CityUnslicker said...

MJW - well, let's see, that is a likely outcome!

CityUnslicker said...

BQ - You seem to have had a leak of the entire budget speech!

Where are your sources?!

On the other hand, I also think this will be one of the shortest speeches- they have literally nothing to say!

hatfield girl said...

I am informed reliably that the Chancellor intends to quote Sir Richard Mottram and sit down.

There isn't any more to say.

Anonymous said...

* CityUnslicker
* Nick Drew

Better get a good nights sleep.

No one cares about BBC moneybox's "A pensioner without a car who drinks 6 Leffe Beers a day is 4p a week worse off. But a farmer with 3 children under 7 and a Land Rover but a wife who smokes , could see a rise of £2.18p a week"

You know you need to be sharp tomorrow as both Dale and Guido will be looking for SOME REAL analysis from you.

Anonymous said...

Given our glorious leaders habit of "triangulation" I think we should consider what the Tories would LIKE to say about the Labour budget and then imagine what Labour will do to pull the rug from under their feet.

It should be remembered that Gordon Brown hasn't been interested in balancing the books for years, so there is no reason for him to expect to change now. I predict announced tax CUTS, especially for the middle classes and INCREASED public spending. All unfunded of course - but in for a penny in for a pound eh?! This at least will be the headline figures - but it will take the BBC three days to create a tax calculator that actually give the correct figures (especially since the carefully hidden tax RISES will be deferred for a year).

Oh, and I wouldn't be surprised if Gordon himself delivers the budget speech!

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