Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Budget Open Thread

Please use this thread to post your comments on the budget. Comments will be approved more or less in real time.

If you want to follow the Sky News Unplugged coverage, which I am contributing to click HERE. There's a live CoverItLive blog throughout the Chancellor's speech.

There's a twitter thread with the hashtag #budgetunplugged.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Brown was near apoplexy when he was asked to admit he had not abolished boom and bust.
I believe Cameron may have actually used all his 6 questions.

We also have a litany of planted labour questions.

PMQs are pointless. Cameron did get a good dig in about special advisers. He was rewarded with a gurning Brown grin.

However for those who say Cameron should keep his questions short - well he did and simply got reams of propaganda back.
Lets stop bigging up PMQs.

BTW - Dorris asked the PM to say sorry to her but he did not. He merely repeated that he was sorry that it happened.
He did not say to her he was sorry for what happened to her.

Anonymous said...

Iain - can you let Sky know that their CoverItLive box is so small that you can only see 2 comments at most, at any time. Getting rid of the survey would help.

Anonymous said...

This Budget is Britain’s Financial Dunkirk - But rather than having a sensible retreat Brown seems to be showing the leadership of Hitler rather than Churchill. Indeed Brown seems to be metophorically turning weapons on his own foot soldiers and booby trapping future genrations with his unwise economic policy.

CuttingEdge said...

As I hum to the Dexys tune of "Come on, Nadine !"

As I'm listening on the radio - could he look her in the face as he gave that reply? Most telling non-answer of the session in character terms.

The rest was the usual bovine defecation from a Prime Minister who is Grade A Delusional at least (if he actually believes his own utterings).

Dungeekin said...

With apologies to Lewis Carroll...


Twas Budget, and the slimy toad,
Did send poor Darling out again,
From whimsy were the numbers grow'd,
That came from Number Ten.

"And use the Taxandspend, old son,
The debts that bite, the laws that catch,
Entreat the hidden tax, don't shun,
The slightest attempt to snatch!"

He took his big red box in hand,
Longtime to Parliament he talked,
And waffled he, for in honesty,
He'd given it no thought.

And as for more he did beseech,
The Taxandspend did once again,
Come whiffling through the Budget speech,
And charged us as it came!

One Two! One Two! For me and you,
Our once-full pockets he ransacked,
And left us spent, to pay their debts,
He crippled us with tax.

"And hast thou used the Taxandspend?
Come to my arms, my eyebrow'd boy!
O Frabjous Day! Calooh! Calay!"
Gord chortled in his joy.

Twas Budget, and the slimy toad,
Did send poor Darling out again,
From whimsy were the numbers grow'd,
That came from Number Ten.

Colin said...

To Martin day @ 12:31

More like the Iraqi Army on the Road to Basra than Dunkirk.

Daily Referendum said...

This is not the UK's budget - it's the world's budget.

Alex said...

There is no money for entrepreneurs. Good business ideas are going to waste because there is no capital to fund them.

Paul Burgin said...

Trevorsden, to be fair when Nadine Dorries asked her question the first word the Prime Minister used in reply was 'Yes.' followed by a brief pause

Neil said...

No surprises yet - unrealistically rosy predictions for the economy are par for the course.

He is also predicting rampant deflation - -3% on the RPI by September.

Newmania said...

Background ( from Duncan)

Let’s assume that the IFS is correct and debt to GBP hits 100%, now let’s assume that the cost of government debt (in terms of annual interest) rises to 6% (currently less than 3.5% and probably will be for a while but in the longer term that may well rise).At that point the government will need to spend 6% of GDP annually on interest payments (currently closer to 2% of GDP before the new borrowing). Tax is currently about 37% of GDP and government spending will be around 45% of GDP next hold the debt constant .... we need to find an additional 12% of GDP (the extra interest payments and balancing the budget)......12% of GDP ....would mean cutting about 25% of all public spending. ...Or– about a 30% increase in taxes

RantinRab said...

I hope Gordon needs to use the JobCentrePlus they are crowing about.

Anonymous said...

Colin -April 22, 2009 12:40 PM

Yes i think that is a better analogy! I will never forget the Iraqi soldier's picture in the Sunday Times Nick-named Mr Crisp!

Neil said...

He is still throwing money around - in line with Gordo's ominous "'invest' our way out of recession" line.

Wonder where he is planning making it up? Presumeably more extreme borrowing. It is another Gordon budget!

Neil said...


£175bn borrowing this financial year, dropping only £2bn to £173bn next financial year.

In the last two minutes EVERYONE in the country has become very significantly poorer!

JuliaM said...

£173 billion of public debt...!

Darling, you're fired!

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown looked like he was smirking when the £175 Billion Debt firgre was announced. Then the years ahead which were equally dire. Why does he think it funny?

I noticed everytime he started smirking he then realised he might not be doing himself any favours.

Anonymous said...

Scrappage scheme. Darling mumbled but is it a flat £2000 or is it up to £2000.

It is definitely for 10 year old cars - so meaningless.

So far Darling is doing nothing except perform as browns poodle.

Borrowing figures show that there is no real effort to cut borrowing. He says he will half it in 4 years - that only because next years is so high.
Borrowing if I heard it right will still be 97 billion in 4 years.

Freddie Macs chief has been found dead by the way - sadly this govt has no shame.

JuliaM said...

"Why does he think it funny?"I think we all know the reason for that. Don't we?

Shinsei said...

"Gordon Brown looked like he was smirking when the £175 Billion Debt firgre was announced."

Doesn't he realise that this will be the photo used in tomorrow's newspaper front pages under the headline "largest budget deficit ever."

The man hasn't got a clue.

Bill Quango MP said...

CU has what he should be doing.
Darling chose to do the

Political Dissuasion said...

Spend, spend, spend.
Debt, debt, debt.

Growth will return before the year is out? Labour really have lost the place. Crazy predictions last year proved to be way out, and now he's looking for even more optimistic predictions this year? Nope, bad one. Debt = 79% of GDP? WOW!

Bearded Socialist said...

Good on you Mr Darling, the worst thing to do would be to try to cut the way out of the recession.
Top Rate of Tax rises, lovely.
Spending cuts, necessary.

I know you lot won't like it, which means he's probably done the right thing....
couldn't resist

Mark M said...

Someone help me out here.

09/10 Borrowing will be £175bn (12.4% GDP) => GDP = £1,411bn
10/11 Borrowing will be £173bn (11.9% GDP) >= GDP = £1,454bn

That comes out at 3% growth to me, not 1.25%

The following years' numbers he gave suggest GDPs of £1,538bn, £1,653bn then £1,764bn, growth of 5.8%, 7.4% then 6.7%.

Am I missing something here?

Ruari C said...

I'm helping out in Edinburgh South West this Saturday - Darling's constituency - and a major Conservative target. After this farce, I'm going to enjoy it *so* much more...

Cynic said...

All the growth assumptions are nonsense. Its a classic budget from a zombie Government waiting for the electorate to drive a stake through its heart.

"We promise there will be growth after the next election when we are no longer in power and therefore wont carry the can for the failure to deliver"

"Disabled children need extra help so we will give them an extra £100 in their Child Trust Fund (which few parents have claimed because its really not worth the administration and which is now only worth £70 anyway because we have buggered up the pound)"

"Everyone under 25 will get a 'job' or place on a training scheme so we take them off the unemployment list before the election and force them into no-jobs. Oh yes and we will have to employ many more civil servants to run those non-jobs, administer the schemes etc. So everyone wins... don't they?"

Null said...

I would be effected by the 50% "super tax". Guess where my company is going to be operating from in the very near future. That's right, one of those tax havens that Brooon cries about so often...

50% taxation is f*cking madness! Why should I pay anymore than anyone else to bail out the incompetent shower of sh*t?

javelin said...

A do nothing budget.

9 bn cuts over 5 years will not be enough. That's 5 pct. They need at least 3 pct on the 175bn figure.

Not good at all.

Tim Hedges said...

I thought Cameron did well, concentrating o the main points and getting them across. 10/10

Trend Shed said...

Given we now have to unravel the budget and work out reality versus presentational gloss - the place to start digging was highlighted by Cameron:

"The Trampoline Recovery" forecast.

Tory Teacake said...

This car scrappage scheme thingy...

Now I am assuming that there must be some kind of 'one car per person' rule else it could be a good little earner.

Buy up a load of old bangers at a couple of hundred a piece. £2000 scrappage money - decent margin, nice little earner!

Small glimmer of amusement in an otherwise depressing budget.
£170+ billion debt!??
Time for an election.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, that was the single worst budget i have had the misfortune to sit through, open mouthed as well. I'm speechless, where the hell is all that money coming from, the business editor on Sky just basically said, the city is laughing at Darling's figures, he was incredulous. The city paying 50%, they are going to slaughter Brown.

CrazyDaisy said...

Cameron was highly entertaining and watching the soon to be opposition's monkey poh faces was a joy to behold.

Labout out of ideas, out of money and out of government!


Conand said...

We've seen some pretty rubbish budgets in the last few years but this really takes the cake.
The 'Do Nothing' budget of April 2009 will go down in history and history will not be kind.
The most expensive period of drift for the country ever. A complete and utter failure, for people on all incomes. All Low Politics, No Statesmanship, no common sense. Pathetic student politics, no regard for the world outside Brown's bubble.
This budget will hurt the private sector and the public sector. In short, it is a total disaster.

Lord Dickie said...

An irrelevant, tired and trivial Budget from an irrelevant, tired and trivial Government.

VJ said...

I'm an optimist, so I'll pick out the only thing I liked in an otherwise sh*7 budget. The increase in the ISA allowance; I wish it was this year, but I'm not 50 yet...

Pam Nash said...

Re the 2K for old cars - who scraps it, motor dealer or punter? Who checks that it actually HAS been scrapped?? More bureacracy and plenty of scope for the unscrupulous to mint it. Lunacy and a strange sense of priorities.

Anonymous said...

Am I right in thinking that the Treasury have accused the IMF of getting their figures wrong?
Pot,kettle and black spring to mind.Will Brown/Balls ever get it right?

Dr Evil said...

So where was the " I will save £180 billion at a stroke by dissolving all Quangos"? This public spending is absolutely ridiculous and will saddle our children and theirs with colossal debts.

Anonymous said...

A city banker said that reading the small print - gilt sales are likely to be £260 billion.

Sigh - Anam Boulton has just called cable 'widely respected'.

cable did demolish the budget.

Basically there is no roadmap out of debt from this budget.

Car scrappage -- its 1000 from govt 1000 from industry and industry have to do paperwork and disposal.

its a waste of space which is just as well as it will only help the east europe car industry and the Korean industry.

Alex Williams said...

"We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step."

Jim Callaghan, Speech to Labour Conference, 1976.

Anonymous said...

Alex Williams. Yes but this is no ordinary recession, this is a Gordon Brown recession...

Major Plonquer said...

Why such a focus only on the economics in the Budget - as though it was the only game in town?

I think I must be the only person who noticed that Alistair Darling's trimmed his eyebrows. Now he no longer looks like Groucho Marx, although he sounds increasingly like the other Marx Brother, Karl.

Laffer described the point T* as the optimum point of taxation on his infamous Curve. Alistair Dalek has changed that. Read the mathematical treatise on my blog for the REAL truth behind the budget figures.

And next Budget, pay attention.

Major Plonquer said...

Forgot to mention - If John Milton Keynes was alive today he'd be turning in his grave.

Anonymous said...

Yes, plonker!

John *Maynard* Keynes.

Agree with you about Laffer, tho'.