No time for a proper blog today, but tomorrow, Tyler will be spending Budget Day at the palatial offices* of the TaxPayers' Alliance. We'll be attempting to spot the inconvenient truths lurking in the haystack of numbers Darling will be pitching in our direction. Gordo's already attempted to distract our attention by ordering A Crack-Down at the trough (believe it when you see it).
Tyler will have three basic questions:
- Are Darling's borrowing forecasts realistic? As we blogged at the time, his Pre-Budget forecasts made ludicrously rosy assumptions about future GDP growth and prospective losses from bank support operations
- Are his measures to cut public spending credible? As we blogged yesterday, more-of-the-same Gershon/Marx Bros efficiency cuts just won't do.
- How much is he going to raise taxes? And how will he attempt to disguise it?
On question 1, the IMF says today it expects UK taxpayers to lose about £200bn from bank support operations. That is a huge amount (c£8 grand for every household), and it makes a nonsense of Brown/Darling's previous claims that we'd lose nothing. So how will Darling fund that?
Watch this haystack.
*The TPA's telephone box style offices are now so packed with operatives, Tyler wonders if there'll be room for extra hands. Maybe he'll have to decamp to the pub - before the rise in beer tax is announced.