The Great Debate UK
The outcome of this financial crisis depends on the economic fundamentals, the policy response and confidence. Chancellor Alistair Darling presents this Budget in an environment where the fundamentals are poor, confidence has been shot to pieces and the credibility of policy and his ability to spend any more is being widely questioned.
There are three key areas to focus on in this Budget. First, the Chancellor’s economic assessment. Second, his fiscal sums and how he can afford any further help to the economy. Third, his longer-term ambitions, aimed at reducing the budget deficit without killing the recovery whilst winning over the electorate and the markets. It is often said bad things come in threes. On the eve of his Budget, Darling will know that only too well.
First, the economic outlook. The Treasury often views The City’s forecasts as being too pessimistic about growth and too optimistic on the budget deficit. This time, the market’s growth expectations are terrible, and rightly so. People and companies have cut spending agressively, and the economy looks like it will decline anywhere between 3 percent to 4 percent this year.