I should probably blog about the Budget, but there wasn’t an awful lot to it. In the opinion of this non-economist, there didn’t seem to be enough there to boost growth. The corporation tax is a giveaway to companies already here, but they will continue to be cautious throughout the next few years, particularly as consumer confidence contracts. It won’t trickle down, but they’ll be some happy Tory donors tonight.
I thought Ed’s speech was one of his best performances to date. He was very good with some great lines, and if consumers continue to feel the pinch, the down, down, down and hurting not working lines will get more and more traction.
But there are many, many places to get a better and more detailed analysis of the details of the budget.
What I thought I’d talk about was the stream of post budget press releases that inevitably go along with a big financial announcement from the Government (any government) and the thinking behind them.
Basically, unless your industry or sector has been totally royally utterly screwed, unless you believe it simply couldn’t get any worse, you will always give a reasonably positive headline. If you think you’re mostly screwed, but there is something to be salvaged, you might make that luke-warm (beware the cautious optimists - they do not mean what they say). The detail is in the text.
The always amusing though never purposfully @torypresshq have been tweeting press releases they believe are supportive to the Government. For example, at 15.29 they tweeted
If you just read the headline of that link “Chancellor makes down payment on balanced growth – EEF Budget Response” you might believe it was a glowing tribute to the Chancellor’s measures. But the full text is littered throughout with “but” and “however”. The overall balance of the release has clearly been crafted to keep a decent relationship with the Government, as is essential, but it is overall pretty critical.
The only sector which doesn’t seem to go for the say something positive if at all possible approach is the charity sector. For example here is Scope’s response to the budget http://www.scope.org.uk/news/budget-2011 which strangely @Torypresshq have not seen fit to retweet.
Not all charities are uniformly negative, not all corporate and trade associations are uniformly positive. But if you want the real story on the response to the budget, remember to look beyond the cautiously optimistic headlines.