Peter Hoskin

Has Obama determined our Budget date?

Has Obama determined our Budget date?
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This article in today's Guardian gives us a good idea of what to expect in the forthcoming Budget.  Basically, even if Brown 'n' Darling don't reveal the full horror of the situation, things are still going to look decidedly messy - more borrowing to fund a "second emergency package of tax and spending measures"; a lower growth forecast; and, surely, downgraded tax receipt forecasts.

Aside from all that, one other detail from the article struck me:

"Darling has spent the last few weeks thinking of possible new expansion plans for a budget tentatively scheduled either for early March or after the visit of Obama to the G20 meeting."

Now, counting backwards, the last few Budgets have been delivered on 21 March, 22 March, 16 March, 17 March ... you get the picture.  Whereas waiting until after the G20 summit would mean, realistically, an earliest date of 6 April.  Why the wait - particularly if these are "emergency" measures which need to be debated and implemented as quickly as possible, to aid the economy?  I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explantion.  But it's hard not to think the Goverment's counting on some political goodwill in the aftermath of Obama's visit.