Thursday, 10 December 2009

PreBudget Report

I didn't really pay much attention to the charade that was the PBR yesterday for three reasons;

  1. The budget will be an overwhelmingly political one which will utterly fail to respond to the urgent economic crisis that Britain faces.

  2. As always with Brown Darling budgets, the emphasis will be on the next day media headlines, with lots of the important policies hidden away, via a sleight of the hand.

  3. The Treasury economic forecasts will be a nonsense.
Brown's 'clever' budgets often take some time to unravel, although the unraveling time seems to be obeying the law of diminishing returns - this one has already started.

Going by this morning's overwhelmingly hostile headlines, it would appear that the PBR's other aim has failed as well - I particularly like the Sun's headline this morning:

The most notable point for me about the PBR now is the timing of the General Election.

I've tended to be in the 'May 6th' camp; it's the last possible best date for Labour. Labour has to call an election before June 3rd (although Brown could technically extend this) but they would not want the likely disastrous local elections on May 6th to over shadow any GE campaign.

May 6th would also allow Brown to have another one of his set-pieces - the Budget - but after today's poor reactions to the PBR I'm beginning to change my mind.

Can Brown risk another round of negative reactions so near to an election? Coupled with the fact that Labour MP's appear to have largely given up - the Labour benches emptied straight after Darling's speech - and that the expenses saga is still rumbling on, I'm now inclined to agree with Iain Martin, the election is looking more likely to be March 25th.

Update: ToryBear has an interesting post that indicates that March 25th could be a likely option.

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