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Before we start…

March 18, 2015

… can I just ask a small question.

WTF?

No, seriously, I mean, why are we doing this again?  What is the point of running the policy teams in Treasury and HMRC ragged, spending all that money on producing and promulgating a Budget, when there’s going to be an election and a change of government in forty nine days anyway?

The new government will no doubt want to do the same thing all over again later in the year.  (Next time, please don’t call it an “emergency budget” though.)  And, pedantry corner, yes, there will be a change of government whatever the result of the election.  The current coalition isn’t up for re-election: the status quo is not an option.  The individual parties that make up the current coalition might conceivably, if the maths came out just so, decide to reconvene but would nevertheless have to hammer out a different coalition agreement.

So.

Why not quietly do a competent Finance Bill based on the material that’s already out there: the things announced in the last Budget and in the autumn, that have been subject to consultation and had their unintended consequences examined?  Why faff about announcing a load of stuff that’s just designed for the manifesto, that won’t be enacted if controversial or will be overturned if expedient?

Because, politics.

Yes, all right.  I’ll be watching (and live tweeting) this afternoon anyway.  I have pizza.  See you on the other side.

 

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