Friday, March 16, 2007

The budget - the real story for public services


Wednesday's budget will be a budget for business according to Gordon Brown in the Financial Times today.

It'll be a budget for social policy - education, families and welfare to work schemes - according to a Brown ally, John McFall, on ePolitix today. (The ePolitix podcast is notable also for its dropped plastic cup, the rustling of papers and the emergency services sirens in the background.)

The certainty is that the real event is the Comprehensive Spending Review - with a tightening of public spending constraints and a greater expectation that public services will have to deliver "more for less" through efficiencies.

2 comments:

Ryderman said...

Looking forward to seeing your comment on the Budget, Bob. With his u-turn on the 10p rate, did Gordon penalise those on low incomes because he can take their votes for granted? And is this why he adjusted the tax regime to reward middle-income earners?

Bob Deed said...

I think the tax changes were (unusually) aimed at making the tax system slightly simpler and flatter (with two not four rates of PAYE/NI) - plus an attampt to make a splash. Lots of middle income earners will lose over time through the increase in the cap on employee's NI contributions. I believe the real story is the imminent tightening in public spending.