In terms of measures, apart from a scandalous hike in National Insurance for employees and employers (great way to create jobs, eh?), there was very little that hadn't been
The biggest surprise for me was the prediction that the recession would be over by the third quarter of 2009. If Alistair Darling really believes that, I would be very surprised. He's certainly made a rod for his own back on that one. What's the betting that by this time next year the borrowing figures and tax take predictions will have to be heavily revised.
George Osborne gave a very strong performance today with some great attack lines. He received good support from Tory MPs and Labour MPs seemed surprised that his attacks were hitting home so well. If his position was in danger (which it wasn't!) it certainly isn't now. I just had a phone call from an MP friend of mine (not a Conservative) who said: "This wasn't George Osborne. It was Ozzy Osborne - drawing blood!"
Jeff Randall just said on Sky News that he wondered how Alistair Darling could deliver that speech with a straight face. Quite. Let's see if the British people see it the same way.
The fact that Conservative Home have given George a resounding endorsement is a credit to him, especially after the criticism he has got recently.
It was a great performance by George. Now let's see how it's reported.
The message was simple, easy to understand and factual. The trick is how to get it across to the wider electorate.
Nice to see the BBC website being as balanced as ever - barely a mention of the tax rises, just the cuts. Britain will not be fooled again.
1. Ozzie done good.
2. Cable done better.
3. Why is Cable not LD leader?
PS I do not vote LD.
Best performance from Osborne for a long, long time. keep it up George!
I have to say that Peston and Robinson were fairly good for a change.
Word verification "tramol" isn't that a sedative? I think I need one after sitting through that flurry of lies and misinformation.
The contempt with which Darling dealt with Osborne will also come back to bite him.
Although one shouldn't be surprised, the more the Tories hit home the less likely Labour are to answer any of the questions put to them.
As one who has been less than complimentary about Osborne, and still find it hard to forgive his two facedness against his colleagues - I do admit he was excellent in the House this afternoon.
The contempt shown to osborne shows. perhaps, their concern that he is still leading the attack.
Why Cable gets away with his comments and nobody has reminded him what is hapening in the Northern Rock bank he wanted nationalised....I will never know.
Cameron/Osborne have got to put the Lib Dems out of their misery. Do not ignore them Just tell the people that whilst Labour have crippled the country they have done it with the blessing of the Lib Dems.
Wednesday PMQ's should be rather interesting. and, please Iain, if Brown does not answer questions -which is his duty- give him negative marks!
George was excellent. Darling was dire. Brown is finished. He looked most uncomfortable. He's just a busted flush.
I really felt so sorry for Darling, he knows this is nonsense but has been over ruled by the Prime Minister.
When George delivered his speech he didn't sit back, he never once looked at Gordon and didn't respond to the pat on the shoulder.
The leaks obviously came from Number 10. Gordon was smiling when George was delivering his opening narrative. I think Darling is basically a decent bloke, sure, promoted above ability but it was a car crash that I can't blame him for. Cable, yeah, alright I guess.
Hats off to George.
And another thing - why should retailers change their prices because of the VAT reduction? Just change any notices to say that "all prices include VAT @ 15%"
VAT isn't paid to HMRC until an item has been sold.
The assumptions behind Darling's figures are ridiculous.
He was a awful transport convener in Edinburgh. Ah well, at least some consistency there!!!!
The performance of Alistair Darling was perhaps the best he could do given the circumstances...and it was dreadful.
George Osborne was fantastic in his response, and I hope to see more like it.
It is time for the Conservatives as a whole to get on the attack over the economy as a whole, and the "budget" in particular, there are so many holes it's rare to see solid ground.
I think all the b.s. about Brown and Darling steering us safely through a titanic crisis are now revealed as nonsense.
If their only solution is to revive the economy by getting us all to spend even more money we do not have all they've done is set course straight for the iceberg.
Following Tory spending plans that they inherited, and with a favourable global climate, the Labour took 10 years to bring the countries net borrowing down from 43% of GDP to 37% of GDP, and just half that time to incrase it to 57% of GDP (assuming the favourable growth predictions are achieved).
At a similar rate of improvement it could take 30 years to bring the finances back down to 37% from 57%.
That is the real legacy of 10 years of Labour - a 30 year Brown borrowing Binge.
George is often this good if truth be known... its just that he doesn't get the coverage he should in the Labour dominated media and I'm afraid most people don't listen to him as closely as they should when his message is heard.
He was brilliant on Newsnight during the banking crisis when all the lemmings (including Cable and Paxo) were running one way while George stood his ground resolutely and insisted we didn't just have to do everything Gordon's way.
Again, a couple of weeks ago on C4 news, he again told the nation exactly where we were headed... and today (belatedly) Darling confirmed the same.
Anyway, looking forward, George just needs to keep knocking out those facts and figures. He's right and we know he is... eventually it'll be proven so.
... it could take 30 years to bring the finances back down to 37% from 57%.
That is the real legacy of 10 years of Labour - a 30 year Brown borrowing Binge.
I think it will take longer.
I said last week that it took 40 years to pay off our WW2 debts, there's no reason to assume it won't take just as long to pay back a similar level of borrowing*.
And then there's all that PFI stuff with a 35 year shelf life!
Brown hasn't just bankrupted us today... he's got his hand on the wallets of those yet to be born.
* The Government had to borrow double its forecast this year. Lets hope its doesn't have to borrow double next year's £120bn forecast!
Superb performance form Osborne.
Mandelson should p*** him off more often.
Darling and Brown are economic loons .. Rule 1: if you're in a hole stop digging - and they're digging a pair of demented moles.
Question: I'm in debt, what do I do?
Answer Of course you borrow more and reduce your income at the same time .. yeah that'll work
Kerry, you'll end up th same as all labour administrations - bankrupt and with nowhere toturn but to the IMF, desperately bleating for help.
But, and its a big but, GO has to go. His message is right but I'm sorry but he just has a way about him that will P*ss people off. Cameron needs to act now and bringin a shadow chancellor who does appeal to people. GO ain't it - Think "Sooty" in the House of Cards trilogy
But, and its a big but, GO has to go. His message is right but I'm sorry but he just has a way about him that will P*ss people off.
Funny how no one ever seems to call for Alistair Darling's resignation???
Hey, I'm first in line to call for the badger faced sock puppet's head! But I'm thinking about a conservative team that will win the next election, and GO won't help Cameron, he'll hinder him
Osborne was just superb.
Best I have ever seen him perform to be exact.
Keep getting stuck in George!
And what was all that stuff from Darling about getting growth to reach 3%+?...
When was the last time that was reached?
Added together, the amounts of borrowing are frankly mind boggling. The country is stuffed - the debt makes wartime lend-lease sums seem like pocket money. This band of bloody incompetents are a damned disgrace.
The Tories really do need to put the boot in. They cannot let yet another open goal slip by? It is there responsibilty as HM Opposition to hold Manse-man and company to account.
For God's sake (and the country's) get on with it.
I'm with Strapworld. Sorry I doubted you George.I won't mention it again until after the election.
We have had 'tipping points' before, but I suspect today is the day New Labour really began to sink.
The silence on the Labour benches during Osborne's outstanding demolition job said it all really.
The guy I saw (from The SUN??) on TV being interviewed along with Fraser Nelson was saying about debt - 'who cares' - it will just get paid off eventually just like the debt from WW2.
What a complete oik. If this is garbage being fed to SUN readers then gawd 'elp us.
The last refuge of the scoundrel is to pay off debt thanks to inflation. That is the fate we will face under Labour. Ultimately a continuing labour regime will pay for the debt by inflating it away.
Osborne echoed Cameron in saying "We don't expect answers (from these lying ...s)" (but we're still asking questions) - he was brilliant.
The truce is over. The war on fraud is engaged. Hopefully Tories will now accept nothing less than victory.
Be in no doubt, today was the day that the Shadow Chancellor shrugged off the tag of 'boy George' as he savaged Alastair Darling's pre-Budget report in one of the most ferocious onslaughts I have ever witnessed from any leading politician, ever.
Thanks largely to most of the key points of the PBR that were leaked over the weekend being right on the money (and that is a scandal in itself), George Osborne was able to comprehensively rip into Labour's 'spend now, pay later' budget with a reply that was simply breathtaking in both delivery and content. If there are any readers out there who doubted Cameron's reasons for appointing Osborne and for sticking by him during the recent Corfu non-story, then Osborne today vilified Cameron's faith in his right-hand man.
It's no wonder Labour were so keen to get him out of his position as Shadow Chancellor. They're frightened of him, and today we saw why. In the space of five minutes he had effectively dismantled Labour's lies on borrowing and the level of debt they were racking up. He laid waste to the deceit inflicted upon the general public by the thieving Brown and the criminal Darling, and effectively set out the clear choice between a robbing, lying and incompetent Labour party and a responsible Conservative administration. Labour lost the election today.
And the boy became the man.
I admit I have not seen Alistair Darling's pre-budget speech, however, Boy George Yachtsborne was very, very, very good. Whilst he socked it to Labour, quite a few Tories cheered him in support. However, I did notice very little and occasional nods of agreement from Boy Dave. Throughout, his mouth remained a tight slit of pensive lips. I would say that the body language was not good. I thought if the Tories ditched Dave for George the next election is theirs for certainty.
Last week, Iain Dale claimed that Prudence was divorced from Gordon Brown. My understanding is that Sarah is married to Gordon Brown. Then Boy George twice claimed that Prudence is dead. I think that his claims are greatly exaggerated. I am not sure whether he accidentally read the same section of his script twice, or whether it was intended.
Which Tory is going to be brave enough and grab the bit between the teeth? Common sense should tell you that 3 Titan Prisons at a cost of £2bn to build is not a sound economic investment at the best of times. With the current economic climate it's a Unthinkable Titanic disaster. Is the Tory silence on this an indication that some of them will profit by the jails being built?
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