Darling doesn’t like sweeteners

Was glued to Alistair Darling‘s interview on the Andrew Marr show Sunday morning.
Marr pushed Darling on whether Wednesday’s Budget would offer “sweeteners” and “give aways” to the electorate ahead of the General Election, expected to be on 6 May.
Darling went a long way to say he wouldn’t but didn’t quite get there.
He said: “People are not daft. They know perfectly well that we have to make sure that not only do we secure the recovery, we have got to get our borrowing down and, frankly, any politician that planted a Christmas tree on the table and said there you are – people would just role their eyes and say you have completely lost touch.”
He added: “What I will present to parliament this week will be a sensible Budget, I hope it will do the right thing by the country, by the people of this country, but crucially it’s looking to the future.”
No grand gestures to bring voters on side for the election then? It certainly sounded like it, but Darling I think left room for manouvre. The chatter among experts is that the Budget will be low key in many senses but focus vigorously on shoring up revenues through tackling avoidance. But the chancellor might have a little something to offer.

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