March 24th, 2010
07:32 PM GMT
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With weeks to go before Britain's national election, finance minister Alistair Darling has given his budget and economic projections for the fiscal year starting in April.

The markets want to see how the government will make deep budget cuts to bring down a budget deficit that rivals the one facing Greece.

Tax payers want to see the rich bankers pay more but do want to suffer from cuts in services.

Other governments want to learn how a major industrialized nation can cut spending without pushing a fragile economy back into recession and without triggering more strikes.

Truth is this budget may have to be torn up anyway. If the opposition Conservative Party takes power in May it will present a new and different budget –- one the ruling Labour Party says would contain damaging cuts.

The worst outcome for the bond, stock and currency markets would be an election where no party gets an overall majority.

That would leave too many unanswered questions about the direction of the economy.

For his part, Darling announced tax relief on cheaper homes, a tax hike on expensive homes and a redistribution of three billion dollars raised from taxing bank bonuses late last year.

Has he done enough to keep his party in power after 13 years?

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michael Cawood

    Once again he has refused to raise tax allowances in line with inflation thus bringing more poor people into paying income tax. This alone should be a warning sign to people not to vote Labour.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  2. Richardsam35

    Hi Jim

    I do not think that he did enough to keep Labour in power but a hung Parliament is looking ever more possible. The sweetners given plus the smoke and mirrors used will be exposed for example I have seen an excellent critique on the notayesmanseconomics web blog.

    However many in debt and public sector workers will be grateful for this governments policies of low interest rates and state intervention so if anything the lines will be drawn in blacker ink between each side!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Isobel - South Kent Coast

    No he most certainly did not win over most British voters – unless your unemployed or work for local government Labour are not popular,
    The budget given (and i did watch it live which was most amusing) is the most political seen in a while and as far as i'm concerned a reflection of Labour's la la land view of themselves, anyone who thinks they've done well to bring in a deficit of 11 billion less than expected may be able to afford themselves a pat on the back, but remember that when Labour got into power in 1997 they inherited a national deficit of 7 billion, yes that means in 13 years they have taken a country in pretty a respectable fiscal situation and deficit of 7 billion pounds and turned it into a 167 billion pound deficit – now thats something to write home to mummy about!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm |

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