This has got to be the worst budget on record (In fact, I've just realised that I'm shaking my head as I'm typing this).
The 50% tax rate for those earning over £150,000 will raise less than a billion pounds compared to the £175bn the government are going to borrow this year alone. It's a gimmick, it's electioneering and it's going to drive high earners (along with their businesses) abroad. Most of the extra money raised by Darling this year will not be coming from rich, but from the rest of us through a rise in tax on fuel, fags and booze. I think Labour have made a serious mistake introducing this 50% rate. Already the BBC are pointing out that it will raise next to nothing and will only alienate the money makers. In other words it's spin, and I think it will backfire like the Tory Toff campaign.
Like all Labour budgets it gets less palatable the longer you chew it over. They say they are "investing in growth", when they are actually making cuts to public services. They want us to believe these are not cuts but efficiency savings. If there are billions to be saved by making departments more efficient, then just how incompetent are the clowns running them? Apparently £3bn of "efficiency savings will be coming from the health and education budgets. Saying these would not be touched was yet one more lie.
And the debt... the debt.