Wednesday 23 March 2011

The most boring UK budget in years...

Yup, its all set up to be a damp squib; no firecrackers, no alcohol (taxes up), no smoking (taxes up) and no nookie behind the bike sheds.

Yes today is budget day, a day normally associated on this blog with days of pre-amble and err..insightful comment (by those who leave comments).

However, I have found nothing even worth thinking about this week in comparison to previous years. There was the inflation non-shock of yesterday and that is about it.

George Osbourne did the heavy lifting in an emergency budget last year. Also the Tories have continued to silly political tradition of making everything happen a year late; so most of last years announcements only take effect in April this year. As some are quite drastic, there will be few announcements for things next year. it is all a bit strange, CEO's in the Corporate world don't pre-announce sales and redundancies by over 12 months - but this is the public sector after all.

However since 2008 we have had emergency budgets, Alistair Darling calmly announcing the worst deficit numbers ever and the biggest debts ever, tax rises aplenty and general calamity. This year is different, this year is dull  - and that in itself is a welcome improvement


andrew said...

My question is :

When is the deficit due to become a surplus?

Has that date changed?

Wake me up in 2014

Bill Quango MP said...

Surprise on North sea oil taxes.
Small surprise over fuel tax CUT.

Bill Quango MP said...

Apprenticeships: 24 new university technical colleagues will be funded, another 40,000 new apprenticeships for the young and unemployed, and there will be 100,000 places in a new work experience scheme.

That looks interesting. Wait for some detail.

Miliband's response sounds far too like it has been written in advance. It has been of course, but it doesn't have to sound as if it has.

Anonymous said...

Can you comment on the setting of a carbon floor price and whether it has any real significance?


Nick Drew said...

anon - trivial points first: it's a subsidy (to low / zero-carbon generators); it's a windfall to existing windfarms & nukes, God knows why anyone wants to do that; it's a tax (on high-carbon generators - if/when the market price of CO2 is lower than the floor); it's dodgy vis-a-vis Euro legislation (but has probably been given the nod because other countries are considering doing the same); it does nothing to prevent 'carbon leakage' (getting high-energy-intensive goods from high-CO2 China etc)

bigger point: it must a one helluva disappointment to the subsidy-wallahs, because it has been set so low - rising only to EUR 30 by 2020 (it was higher than that in 2006!) they were asking for EUR 80 (sic) ... I haven't yet seen what happens after 2020

overall, it's a Bad Thing, but only a small one. Trouble is, it can presumably made rather easily into a Big Bad Thing ...

Anonymous said...

Bill I agree with you, it is what has not been said, wait for the exemptions and who will be eligible for these technical collages, apprenticeships and work experience jobs, we have been here before under Maggie, Major, B'Liar and Broon also will the jobs be there when they have finished their training and what value will employers place on the apprenticeships, 6 month courses do NOT a craftsman or technician make, it just gives the basics
(at least the ones running at present judging from various comments I've heard)

Nick Drew said...

correction to my comment above, the carbon price floor numbers are in GBP, not EUR

(my note that the 2006 price being higher than 30 was however a EUR number all along)

so it's a bit higher than I suggested