Is Michael Crick Right? Was it a “dull Budget”?

This afternoon I bumped into the BBC’s Michael Crick in Portcullis House. He can often be spotted there, fishing for the next good story. He asked me what I thought of the Budget and he looked a little glum so I asked him what he thought of it. He described it as “dull”. I tried to offer an interesting line – Premiership footballers would no longer be able to avoid paying huge amounts of tax. I thought I sensed a spark of interest, but it quickly disappeared. An extra £2 billion for the Green Investment Bank, which will start a year earlier than planned – that got little more than a yawn. Further investment in rail infrastructure for Manchester to increase capacity and reduce journey times – all very worthy but it won’t affect Michael’s tram journey to Old Trafford to watch United. The £1000 increase in the personal allowance and confirmation that it will increase to £8105 by 2012, taking 1.1 million out of paying tax altogether – I could see his eyes glazing over.

I sensed that “dull” is how the Budget would remain. I was fighting a losing battle. If I mentioned the £100 million extra for science, incentives to encourage charitable giving, the enterprise zones (including Greater Manchester), funding for thousands more apprentices (250,000 by the end of the Parliament) or £250 million to help first time buyers get on the property ladder with support for raising deposits I might have sent him to sleep. We will have to wait and see what Newsnight has to say, but I’ll settle for “dull”.

2 responses to “Is Michael Crick Right? Was it a “dull Budget”?

  1. Pingback: Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #214·

  2. We shall be eternally grateful.

    The reason this budget might be seen as ‘dull’ was because your government had already made all of its groundbreaking announcements in the emergency budget and CSR. 600,000 public sector jobs to go, expected to lead to a further 700,000 in the private sector, a real terms pay cut for all public sector staff (those ‘lucky’ enough to desperately cling to their jobs), irreovocable harm to public services.

    This blog post almost makes it sound like an endless good news story. No matter how many scraps you might try to proffer, it cannt change the fact that the overwhelming agenda of this government – propped up by Lib Dems – is to reduce public services and jobs and envourage private wealth to a ruthless degree, and all with devastating consequences for the majority of people across the land. But don’t let that bother you.

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