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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Budget Day

Today is Budget Day, Alastair Darling's big opportunity to show the country that he can steer us through the self inflicted recession despite the fact that Gordon Brown left him with precious little in the store cupboard.

The danger with all budgets is that they rely on out of date statistics and flawed forecasts. This point is best illustrated by the news reported in The Times that the IMF has screwed up:

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was facing a potentially huge embarrassment last night after it was forced to withdraw a claim that Britain faces a bill for almost £200 billion for the bank bailout.

The IMF retracted the figure correcting it to the original estimate of £130 billion

There may be some comfort for Darling as he prepares to face parliament and the taxpayers, as HMRC report that the number of homes sold in the UK jumped by 40% in March from the previous month.

There were 60,000 property sales worth at least £40,000 each, compared with 43,000 in February.

As to whether this represents an ongoing trend or a one off blip, it remains to be seen.

Expect higher taxes, broken promises, flawed statistics, fanciful forecasts and "bigging up" rhetoric from Darling and Brown today.

Despite the fact large segment so the budget have already been leaked to a compliant media, the devil will of course be in the detail; which will only become apparent once the professionals have gone through the reams and reams of documents, relating to the budget, produced by the Treasury.

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