The Chancellor today presented his budget to Parliament, and I have to tell you after watching and listing with keen interest, I was left recollecting about an interesting traffic sign I once saw – “slippery when wet”. This was a “budget”, and I use the term loosely, that was vexatious in the selective statistics used and intellectually pretentious.
Chancellor Brown, pardon – Darling, took my breath away, when he said: “
The government has stated, and nauseatingly so, their adherence to the “golden rule”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule_(fiscal_policy) - Huff and puff all you want Chancellor that rule is the only thing blown over. Mr Cameron was correct when he said, the trade deficit was set to rise to a record £72bn while the rate of investment was "slumping" by two thirds and debt as a share of GDP, if Northern Rock was included, was 43.8%. Clearly this would "bust" the chancellor's fiscal rules.
In October's pre-budget report, Mr Darling forecast growth at 2.0-2.5 percent in 2008 and 2.5-3.0 percent in 2009. This contrasted sharply with a poll conducted by Reuters of 60 economists, whom put economic growth at 1.8 percent in 2008, picking up only slightly to 1.9 percent in 2009.
The persistent conviction of the Chancellor that the economic weather can safely be described as a slight overcast seems to be grossly at odds with most economists who see the high risk of an oncoming storm.
One could not ignore the incessant use of the word “stability”, as if somehow repeated Ad nauseam would produce the result. I would have thought that if stability were desired, a posture of tax cutting to stimulate the economy would have been a more sane prescription.I am incredulous of stories about “green taxes”. It is patently clear to me that this governments wish to relegate plastic bags, excessively tax alcohol and the automobile, is nothing more than government by authoritative decree. And anyway, we are not stupid; we know a tax jack when we see and feel one. This is really a case of – “I just need the money!