As I suspected, Darling has cooked the figures by laughably unrealistic growth forecasts. He is predicting a sustained economic sprint that will mysteriously come to Britain the April after next. Table B1 of the PBR shows that he expects 3.25% growth every year for a whole four years: from April 2011 to April 2015.
How does this square with what the real world thinks? I blogged earlier what HM Treasury’s independent forecasts have to say. Robert Chote from the IFS has just been on TV saying the good news is that the structural deficit isn’t as big as it used to be. Little wonder, when you can concoct growth forecasts like this. Here is a graph, laying it out.
The subtext to this Budget is “securing the recovery”. It should be “once upon a time...”