Independence...Integrity...Value

The Budget 2011

This paper summarises the 2011 budgetwith particular reference to its implications for local government and housing.

The 2011 Budget stuck rigidly to the public spending plans set out inthe Spending Review 2010, including spending on services and capital spending.There are a few minor differences to Departmental Expenditure Plans but some ofthese are probably due to simple accounting differences.

What was interesting about Chancellor George Osborne’s speech was hehardly mentioned public spending plans at all. Budgets are normally about‘getting and spending’ but this Budget speech was all about the taxation sideof the equation and only very little about spending.

The Budget ‘Red Book’ also seems to contain much less information thanusual about the spending plans. This is probably because the government wantsto shift the debate away from ‘cuts’ and onto the ‘growth’ agenda.

Whilst both the Chancellor and the Office for Budgetary Responsibilityrevised slightly upwards medium-term growth prospects, it is entirely unclearwhy less growth now should somehow automatically lead to higher growth later.

There are also significant implications for public services not least inhousing growth, enterprise zones, pensions, potholes, fuel costs, potentialincreases in interest rates and the review of national insurance.

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