There is not a lot to say about the budget. As all the predictions and forecasts seem to have been based on wishful thinking they are not worth the paper they were written on.
It looks like the Assembly is going to get £500,000,000 less per year as a result of cut backs. A lot of money for a small institution so there will be severe cut backs in things like schools and hospitals and business support - the things needed to help Wales to come through the recession.
There seems to be little to get exited about on the bread and butter issues. Beer and fags and petrol have, as usual, gone up but not by as much as in previous budgets. This, along with the changes in higher rate income tax rates, seem to be a desperate attempt at appealing to Labour's traditional vote rather than having any fiscal significance. But having ignored their core vote for ten years then these attempt will probably fall into the category of the well worn political cliche of too little too late. The 50p in the £ tax for those on £100k or more seems to be a particularly naive bit of political budgeting. O.K. it may give the impression that the chancellor is punishing those rich sods who lead us into the financial crisis, which might please the socialists; but surely it is those who earn or aspire to earn such sums who are going to be needed to turn the economy around.
I am rather sceptical about the £2,000 old banger grant. How many people who currently have to drive 10 year old cars worth less than £2,000 are going to be in a position to sell them and buy a brand new car. Surely the reason people drive old bangers is because they can't afford anything better.
I was just as disappointed with the Conservative response to the budget speech. Cameron spoke well but was let down by his supporters. When he mentioned the possibility that Britain might have to go to the IMF his backbencher's laughed! Having to go to the IMF is no laughing matter. The Conservatives really must stop enjoying the recession. The economic downturn may be causing the Labour party difficulties but it is also causing hundreds of thousands of ordinary voters problems too. Hundreds of thousands of voters who are not going to vote for a party that laughs at their difficulty and sees the recession as a jolly wheeze with which to batter Brown and Darling.