With the UK economy facing the prospects of an unprecedented triple-dip recession the Chancellor, George Osborne, is under pressure to focus on growth in his Budget Statement on 20 March.
Before last year’s ‘omnishambles’ Budget, the Chancellor had effectively won all the crucial political battles on broad economic strategy. Although he recovered some credibility with his last Autumn Statement, events surrounding the 2012 Budget have left a lasting impression.
In recent weeks we have seen a downgrading of the Country’s credit rating, the Conservatives being pushed to third place by UKIP in the Eastleigh by election and the evidence of disquiet among the Tory backbenchers and even it would appear Tory ranks in the Cabinet over spending cuts and the need to provide more help for ‘high pressed working families’.
If the forthcoming Budget statement was a football match, it would be described by pundits as ‘being a bit tasty’. But with so much being ruled out by the Prime Minister, and his insistence that the Government will be sticking to its current course, we may be heading for a nil-nil drawn, i.e. more of the same. Another scenario is that, given the absence of speculation coming out from Government, the Chancellor might take us by surprise.
We have pulled together the story on the current state of the economy together with the speculation from a range of published sources about what might be contained in the Budget; but only time will really tell.
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For the report, please click here: PublicPolicyStrategies_BudgetSpeculationMarch2013