There is plenty of coverage of the content of this year's budget but here are a few things that Gordon failed to mention:
1. The £200 payment made to pensioners before the election to help with council tax bills has been abolished. It was the centre-piece of his Budget last year and not mentioned in his Budget this year (page 188).
2 Gordon Brown did not mention the fact that this Budget adds £5.5bn to Britain’s tax bill – already the highest ever – over three years. Of this £5.5bn, £4.8bn was not even contained in the Budget measures announced today. Tax as a proportion of GDP has been revised up from 40.7% to 41% by 2010/11.
3 Even after that, Brown has revised up his borrowing to £175 billion over the next six years – £7,000 per family. The current deficit for next year almost doubled from £4bn to £7bn.
4 Brown made much of environmental taxation but the proportion of taxes raised by environmental taxes has fallen from 6.4% to 6.2% (page 262). The Climate Change Levy will, according to the Red Book, raise less revenue in the next three years after the changes he announced. Friends of the Earth responded by saying: “Gordon Brown’s latest Budget will do little to tackle the huge challenges posed by climate change”.
5 There was no mention of the NHS at all. For years the Chancellor made the NHS his priority. Now it is in financial crisis he simply ignores its existence.
6 There were no measures to implement the Turner Report or to restore incentives to save.
7 The Treasury have revised down long-term productivity growth from 2% to 1.75%.