Budget 2004: The reviews
17 Mar 2004 by Malcolm Drury
Vote now!How will the budget affect you?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has unveiled his new budget and, as usual, the pundits, analysts and victims have been eagerly queuing up to share with the media their considered opinions. Never one to be left behind the pack, DeadBrain is pleased to bring you comments and analysis from the ones the other media don't bother to ask.
This is a fine budget but the bloody BBC is bound to report it all wrong, and I categorically deny that I put any pressure on Mr. Brown to sex it up, and I'll sue anybody who suggests I did, or just generally gets in my way, so [expletive deleted] off.
Clare Short, maverick Labour MP
I have incontrovertible evidence that the PM's office spied on Mr. Brown while he was thinking about his budget, and I can prove it because I have transcripts of early drafts. He was originally going to put beer up by 5p a pint, so what made him change his mind? I suspect a leak somewhere, but it will be covered up as usual. Why is beer going up but cider isn't? There's something there that smells and I'm determined to get to the bottom of it. This government is morally bankrupt and this budget will make the country bankrupt. Well, binge beer drinkers, anyway, and why is the government picking on them?
Iain Duncan Smith, former interim leader of the Conservative Party
This budget will most certainly lead the country to wrack and ruin through inflation, deflation, or stagflation. Probably. Well, maybe. Do you want to buy a video of my one man show
in Liverpool last month? How about a copy of my book? Please. Pretty please.
Douglas Ramsbottom, Professor of Economics and Other Unexplained Phenomena, University of Bootle
I think it's a good move to shift 20,000 civil servants out of London, and I recommend Bootle, a fine town with excellent amenities and a superb university. As for the budget overall, well I question the Chancellor's assertion that growth in Britain in 2004 will be 3 to 3.5%. It all depends on the baseline you use. If you use, for example, a Dubrovian bell curve and assume an inflationary index factor of 1.8, on the basis of Keynesian analysis modified according to the Feinstein Principle, you find that when the global outlook is factored in, taking account, of course, of the average long-term predicted growth potential of the G7 and the key non-aligned third world nations, and adjusted by Ludworth's equation for the usual variations... [at this point our reporter ended the interview and went home to lie down - Ed.
Brenda Shuttleworth, a pensioner from Grimsby
That extra £100 towards me council tax won't do nowt much for me, me budgie food keeps goin' up, I've already 'ad to 'ave the cat put down, and then there's the bingo.
I have a new toothbrush, it's blue.