There are many, many reasons to be disappointed with the current Government. That they manage to cram all of them into a single budget is phenomenal.
50% top tax rate for £150k plus earners - really, this raises a pittance. Pure politics to play with the Tories.
'Investment' - in sundry green initiatives, an industrial policy, non-jobs for those who can't get real ones. All very costly, all will have no impact.
£15 billion in public spending cuts - out of over £600 billion. That is like not buying chocolates with your families weekly shopping money; ooh, what a saving!
But worst is the really big lies, the whoppers that are going to mean MASSIVE spending cuts from next year and huge tax rises:
• Economy forecast to shrink 3.5% in 2009 - Um, at least 1/2% out on the downside
• Growth expected to pick up in 2010, expanding by 1.25%. - heroic, be surprised if we manage more than 1/2% in total
• Economy to grow by 3.5% annually from 2011 - Long term trend in 2.5%, so again, pathetic assumptions.
• Public borrowing to increase to £175bn this year - Gulp
• Borrowing levels to rise by £173bn, £140bn, £118bn and £97bn in years after - 4x gulps, plus all wrong as the growth predictions are way off, so these numbers will all expand hugely.
• Consumer price inflation to fall to 1% by end of year. - So QE won't work then, Alistair?
All the hard decisions have been ducked and left to the next Government which Darling knows won't be him. It is the most political budget ever, Labour have betrayed their own country.
I am flying out of the country on business tomorrow - is it worth coming back?