Taking Stock – Race is on to find glamour girls and boys.

It’s that time of year when TS puts its mind to finding out just who among the publicity hungry are doing their utmost to swamp the press with bon mots in the run up to the Budget.

Yes its our annual rent-a-quote competition with no prizes except of course being held up to ridicule on this page.

And the rules? None, of course, except those that TS happens to invent along the way. Last year the winner was John Whiting, tax guru over at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This year (yawn) it looks, with just a day to go that Whiting, the business hacks’ best friend, is well ahead of the field. Counting entries since the Valentine’s Day announcement of the Budget date, Whiting scores a remarkable 21 hits.

His nearest rival with a creditable 15 is Mike Warburton over at Grant Thornton. Traditionally Whiting’s stiffest competition does not come from another Big Five contender but from the mid-tier.

Warburton is a case in point but in previous years Maurice Fitzpatrick, a veritable press dynamo at Chantrey Vellacott, has provided the chase to the line. Unless he can prove different, and we suspect he’ll try, we have Maurice down for just seven entries. Obviously not showing the form of previous years.

We’ll let you know who wins after the Budget next week.

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