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Autumn statement and spending review day

November 25, 2015

I can’t make it to London to watch the Autumn Statement/Spending Review with the Women’s Budget Group today, but I’ll be watching it on tv and on twitter and may come back with some thoughts later on, particularly if there are any TIINs published.  Although I’m not sure why anyone should care, as the Autumn Statement doesn’t seem to require the same amount of secrecy as the Budget, and Budget secrecy has been thoroughly exploded by selective leaking over the last few years.  So we already know there is money down the back of the national sofa for defence, there may be some stuff about housing benefit, and there’s some secret squirrel stuff about the tax credits fiasco.

The interesting bit, for me, will be this blather about a “Northern Powerhouse”.  It doesn’t look very powerful from where I sit in the putative middle of it.  It looks, in fact, like an attempt to roll back the state to something like the competing tribal nations we see in The Last Kingdom.  Let’s give the northerners a few quid if they’ll get together and agree someone to give it to.  (Didn’t we vote against the idea when we were asked?) But, hey, let’s ignore that and go with whatever we can cobble together.  Let’s ignore the views of local people and see if we can get some kind of oligarchy together that will take our money and then go away and manage them quietly.  Thanks George.  Or should that be Uhtred?

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