Insights from the UK and beyond
Has Alistair Darling done enough to revive Labour’s electoral hopes?
So how was it for you?
Chancellor Alistair Darling threw the dice in his pre-budget report in an attempt to bolster Labour’s chances of winning the general election in 2010.
From hitting bankers with a one-off bonus tax to lowering bingo duty, Darling played to the Labour heartlands, while hoping to win back voters who have been telling pollsters that they are done with Gordon Brown.
Other measures included the return of full value added tax in January, a 2.5 percent rise in the basic state pension, a 1.5 percent increase in child benefit, as well as help for small businesses and various initiatives to boost the government’s green credentials.
All this while admitting that the recession was worse than he had predicted, with the economy shrinking by 4.75 percent in 2009.
Not surprisingly Darling’s Conservative counterpart George Osborne wasn’t impressed, accusing the chancellor of “sleight of hand” and “sneaky fiddling”.
Let us know what you think of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report and whether it will resuscitate Labour’s electoral hopes?