Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Building Blocks for a Recovery?

Today is probably going to be different from any of the other pre-election budgets I've heard since the 1980s. There isn't the leeway that is normally allowed to make it a give-away budget to all and sundry.

However, the effects of this budget may also be short lived, both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are promising an emergency budget in the event of them winning the General Election and it is not even clear if what the Chancellor sets out now would be what a Labour Government wants to stick to if it is returned to power.

So what are the main themes that are being speculated about. The Guardian tells us Darling is looking to close tax loopholes, though not tellingly some of the ones that Labour themselves helped open up that Vince Cable has highlighted. The Times tells us that nuclear power and wind will be at the heart of a green economic recovery, but what about other renewables and indeed what about Vestas the UK's only wind turbine manufacturing plant when it shut down about this time last year that was hardly a 'prudent' failure last year to echo Lib Dem recovery plans now.

The little man above is made of 44 blocks of Lego, I think he is more capable of steering Britain out of this recession that was deepened by Gordon Brown's budgeting while chancellor. Not that I think George Osborne is any better. Will Labour build out of a future to make it fairer to the ordinary tax payer? I doubt it their record speaks for itself, they'll use VAT and National Insurance to raise revenue like they have done for 13 years, making the poorest pay proportionately higher taxation than the richest who can employ accountants to get them around payment of so much.

While Labour are looking at off-shore loopholes the Liberal Democrats have also pointed out some of the loopholes created by Labour and the Conservatives before them that also need addressed. Plus we'll be lifting the threshold to make the minimum wage almost a tax free full time wage.

The budget today may in the words of Holywood go straight to DVD, it will be replaced by the blockbuster to come as the real deal, the one that really will take us through the next 12 months. Whether that has Lib Dem input or indeed leadership is up to the people.

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