Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yesterday's budget response

Just a couple of quick things from yesterday's budget. See my tweets for more and Nadhim Zahawi's piece on it as well.

I was happy to see that David Cameron, or his speech writers, have been reading my blog and agreeing with my figures and conclusions. Firstly I pointed out just last week that Labour plans to cut the deficit in half over the next government would leave us with  £1.3 trillion pounds of public debt, yesterday Cameron said:

"They told us they would be prudent but the Chancellor has just said they will be borrowing £734 billion over the next six years, giving us to a national debt of £1.3 trillion."

Secondly I pointed out last month that HMT was a department that was not fit for purpose with regards to forecasts and estimates. That piece was about the cost of the war in Afghanistan which was orriginally costed at "100s of millions of pounds" and has actually cost to date £9.3 billion s. Cameron though pointed to econmic growth forecasts, also produced by the Treasuary and used by the Chancellor:

"Look at their record of predicting growth. In 2008 they said we’d grow by two per cent. In fact the economy grew by 0.5 per cent.In 2009 they predicted decline of 3.5 per cent. In fact we shrank by 5 per cent. Now they say that the economy will grow by [3.25] per cent, the independent experts say 2.1%."

I'll pop by CCHQ later to collect my consulting fees.

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