If you're feeling charitable to the government, you could say that if might have been worse. Given that there's election on the horizon, there might have been more spending giveaways to sway hearts and minds. But, as it is, it's difficult to see how this will attract many, if any, votes. There are the government's feted "guarantees," of course – but we've heard about them before. And I doubt the government's package of measures for small businesses will be met with much gratitude by those who have had their general tax burden increased in recent years.
In the end, the sight of Labour MPs cheering and whooping as Darling announced a link-up with Belize on tax evasion rather summed up the day for me. This was a pointless, phoney event, which will leave the markets less convinced than ever, and the debt burden almost as high. Let's wait for a real Budget, after the election.