James Forsyth

Another blow to the Budget’s credibility

Another blow to the Budget's credibility
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The expenses scandal is becoming more depressing all the time. There are no apologies forthcoming and too many politicians want to circle the wagons against any kind of scrutiny. As Jonathan Isaby notes, Theresa May is refusing to say any MP has behaved immorally and is instead “blaming the culture that has grown up in Parliament.” This is a quite shocking denial of the moral agency of the individual, the worst kind of crime is all society’s fault claptrap. As for James Gray, words fail me.    

There are, though, other stories developing that are worth keeping an eye on. The News of the World reports that:

“In a major snub to the Chancellor, boffins at the Bank [of England] will DOWNGRADE their growth forecasts in their Inflation Report on Wednesday.

They will say the economy will shrink by more than four per cent in 2009-not the 3.5 per cent that Mr Darling predicted in his Budget.”

It is becoming clearer by the day that the Budget was built on a set of Panglossian predictions. This means that the real state of the public finances is even worse than is currently believed to be the case. To compound the problem, we know that no repair work will take place this side of the election. Indeed, the rumours about Darling being moved, which Pete blogged about earlier, are a result of the belief that Brown wants to keep the option open of a pre-election spree in this autumn’s PBR and he knows that the Treasury under Darling won’t go along with that.      

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Topics in this articleSociety