Much fuss, sorry I mean analysis, I’m sure will be made of Osborne’s pre-budget report today or the Autumn Statement as it’s now known because the Tories promised to abolish the PBR. Promises, promises eh? Oh and the Tories also pledged to report to Parliament first not leak stuff beforehand, something they criticised Labour for. That’ll be yet another promise broken then.
Anyway, some are referring to it as Brown’s 13th budget, which indicates not only the lack of substance – tinkering about the edges – but deliberately making it more confusing: such as flipping between using Office for Budget Responsibility figures on growth and debt but using Treasury figures on the deficit. Witterings from Witney has also come to similar conclusions – labelling Osborne as an economic prat. I must say I can’t disagree.
Yet it doesn’t matter what the forecasts are – they’ve been wrong four times in the last 18 months already – the continuing eurozone crisis renders any such predictions as null and void.
Interestingly though Ed Balls, in response to the Chancellor’s statement gave a great demonstration of a political dog whistle:
“If we are all in it together, why is it families, women and children always pay the most?”
See what he did there? The vast majority of men have families too, in some form or another, including the multi-millionaires: Osborne, Clegg and Cameron. So the statement is factually correct and logically he’s referring to almost everyone in the country but the implication Balls’ wants to give is entirely different.