Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Does George Bother?

I don't know why George Osborne is bothering to go to the Commons to deliver his budget this afternoon. After all, thanks to the leaks to broadcasters and the press we more or less know what is in it.

I had hoped those sorts of leaks would have disappeared when Labour left office. It appears not.

I hope the Deputy Speaker will have something to say on the subject when he presides over the budget statement later.

5 comments:

alastair said...

Oh Iain

What a silly blog!

Richard Laming said...

after all, at the European Council meeting last week, the prime minister was adamant that the Budget should be presented to parliament first ...

Sean Haffey said...

Agreed

golden_balls said...

the leaks will continue throughout this 5 year term do you really think they won't ?

two parties two powerbases they each want to square there own side before the backlash over cuts.

el-sid said...

I admire the sentiment Iain, but I think in this case you are somewhat wrong.

In this particular instance, the time between an election involving a major change of power, and the first Budget, there's real potential for the country to fall into economic limbo as decisions are postponed until people know what's going on. With the current economic situation in particular, that could be fatal to many businesses. To my mind the economic good of the country outweighs the parliamentary niceties.

So there was a good argument for at least ruling out the stuff that he was never going to do, and giving an idea of the broad outline, within a week or two of the election, if he knew himself. At least for the market-sensitive stuff. Thus it would have been helpful just to indicate that he would bear Laffer in mind when setting CGT levels, and that it wouldn't be extended to PPRs, things like that. Stuff like the level of VAT and the intricacies of Sure Start are rather less important in their influence on economic behaviour at a macro scale, although obviously they can have a big influence on certain individuals.

Obviously that kind of stuff is best not leaked informally, but he could have said something in the House or at the Mansion House or something.

Good to see explicit mention of the pointlessness of increasing taxes to the point where the tax take is less, shame the previous government weren't so pragmatic.

(BTW, thanks for the AC interview, not one of the very best, probably due to his slipperiness, but still enjoyed it)