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Why save?

12 March 2008 19:47

The Chancellor made much today about the government’s attempt to encourage saving. But with up to 40 per cent of people’s income taken away from them before they even get… Continue reading


Unjustified smugness

12 March 2008 19:37

The Chancellor may have claimed that Britain was better prepared than any other nation to deal with a cooling world economy, but looking behind the headline-grabbing initiatives on ‘sin taxes’… Continue reading


No company

12 March 2008 19:21

The Chancellor waffled on about the millions of new companies created in the past ten years, yet these ‘new’ companies are simply a legal re-branding: sole-traders and partnerships that have… Continue reading


A Budget for social justice?

12 March 2008 19:19

Given the tight position of the public finances and the global economic slowdown this was never going to be a Budget for big giveaways. In this context the fact that… Continue reading


Another Balls up

12 March 2008 19:10

You would have thought that by now the Labour front bench would have learned not to heckle David Cameron as one of Cameron’s strengths at the Despatch Box is his… Continue reading


Darling’s regressive tax increases

12 March 2008 18:40

With the tax hike on alcohol and cigarettes, Labour, supposedly the party of working people, is effectively increasing taxes on the poor as a much larger proportion of poorer people’s… Continue reading


Say what?!

12 March 2008 18:19

Did any Coffee Housers catch what Ed Balls said? David Cameron mentioned the huge tax burden during his budget response and Balls shouted "so what?". Or that’s Cameron’s version. The Secretary of… Continue reading


Labour on the back foot

12 March 2008 17:31

Today’s Budget made clear that we are in for a protracted period of political trench warfare. Darling’s speech was cautious in the extreme while the Tory response was hardly bold.… Continue reading


Making things worse

12 March 2008 17:29

The opening remarks of Alistair Darling’s Budget speech showed that the Chancellor is well aware of Britain and the world economy’s ongoing economic woes.  How troubling and disappointing, then, that… Continue reading


Badly-prepared Britain

12 March 2008 17:17

Dull, dull, hopelessly dull.  This is a Chancellor who dithered over Northern Rock, dithered over capital gains tax, and now can’t even decide whether the plastic bags levy should be… Continue reading

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Unfunded spending

12 March 2008 17:15

My prize for comment of the day goes to CS responding to my earlier post on Patricia Hewitt: "Just saw Old Pat on the TV slagging off her opponents’ ‘unfunded… Continue reading


Budgeting for reform

12 March 2008 17:05

I’ve just been talking Budget with Andrew Haldenby, the director of Reform (read their contribution to Coffee House’s Budget coverage here).  Like most of us, he’s incensed by the level… Continue reading


What a difference a year makes

12 March 2008 16:45

The below table shows how we will be paying the costs of Brown’s profligacy for years. In the space of a year, the picture has markedly worsened. This is gross government… Continue reading


Debt-ridden Britain

12 March 2008 16:38

Despite the sophistry of the Budget speech, the fact remains that Britain—after 10 years of solid economic growth—still has an enormous stock of debt, around 40 per cent of GDP.… Continue reading


A fixed rate fix

12 March 2008 16:09

Darling banged on about how the government would encourage or facilitate the growth of a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage market for home buyers, especially first time buyers. Reviews and committees are… Continue reading


Taxing the patience of business

12 March 2008 15:45

The Chancellor’s claim that his Budget provides a stable tax regime for business is absurd. Far from providing a stable tax regime, Labour has repeatedly tinkered with the system, increasing… Continue reading


A bundle of debt

12 March 2008 15:35

If you’re sitting down, have a look at this government debt projection. One of my favourite parts of the Budget is the Maastricht Treaty debt, calculated under a definition the… Continue reading


The Tory response

12 March 2008 15:23

Some initial responses on the Tory side: 1) The troops are delighted with Cameron’s performance which was very assured: they think their man is getting better, learning on the job.… Continue reading


A line of cocaine is now cheaper than half a pint of cider

12 March 2008 15:13

The biggest story in today’s Budget – ie, what will hit the public immediately – is the booze hikes. From 6pm tonight, they take effect. An extra 4p on a… Continue reading


A Mail order Budget

12 March 2008 15:04

I suspect that the government will be quite pleased if this Budget is nothing more than a one day story. There was no headline-or-vote-grabbing initiative in it. Instead Darling chose… Continue reading

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Backing vocals for Darling

12 March 2008 14:51

Who else reckons that Mr Darling’s plodding budget could have used a lively soundtrack? Well, here’s my recommendation: Goody Two Shoes by Adam and the Ants. The lyrics pretty much… Continue reading


Unflattering comparisons

12 March 2008 14:40

The most pathetic aspect of Darling’s speech, just reiterated by Patricia Hewitt on the BBC’s coverage, was the recourse to comparisons with the last Tory government. Every administration, especially one… Continue reading


Binge borrowers

12 March 2008 13:51

The TV pundits still don’t seem to grasp the enormity of the Chancellor’s borrowing binge to come, all the more significant because of the borrowing binge we’ve already had. The… Continue reading


Targeting Brown

12 March 2008 13:50

No room for manoeuvre: that is David Cameron’s mantra in response to Darling’s “resilience and stability” formula. The theme could hardly be simpler: we failed to put aside money for… Continue reading


A tax-raising Budget

12 March 2008 13:42

The Red Book has arrived – and with it the magical Table 1.2, proof this is a tax-raising budget. We’ll all collectively pay the government £140m less in the next… Continue reading

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