Insights from the UK and beyond
Smokers and top earners were clear losers in Britain’s budget this year, asΒ the government hiked taxes on cigarettes and the highest incomes.
But a lucky few must have been cheering in front of their televisions during the 51-minute speech.
Budget-watchers who bet hard cash that the chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling, would wear a grey or blue tie to his address got a welcome bit of stimulus from the budget.
Betting firm Ladbrokes was giving odds of 3/1 and 16/a for a blue and grey, respectively. Perhaps aware of the odds, Darling put on a blue-gray striped one, and Ladbrokes paid out for both colours.