Economic growth for the next year is predicted to be lower than 1.0%. I can’t think, offhand, or a more obvious indication that the Chancellor is gripped by some sort of weird paralysis which will result, for the rest of us, in continually declining standards of living.

I have no great objection to many of the cuts he has made; and believe, à la Dr Fox, that he could be still more stringent. However, he should also be investing heavily in stuff which will see our economy grow – science, engineering, what used to be called ‘public works’. Simply cutting spending will not promote growth. Simply investing in the productive parts of the economy will not clear our debt. We need to do both, no?

Tags: Budget, Budget 2013, George Osborne, Tax, UK politics