But should we expect more?
Like the Budget itself, the pre-Budget report is about politics not economics. Only more so. It’s more of a Budget preview and Budget review: an opportunity for the government to promise jam tomorrow, and pat themselves on their collective back for promising jam yesterday as well.
Gordon Brown’s conjuring trick will have failed to appease the fuel protestors but he did enough to make himself appear a reasonable man. Similarly he was careful to position himself as a chancellor doing his bit to help pensioners.
But despite those careful political manoeuvres we are left with a tax system every bit as complicated as the one we were already fed up with yesterday.However, there were some small chinks of light.
The Pre-Budget report invited consultation between business and the government on a number of important tax issues – including withholding tax, intellectual property and capital gains tax reforms – something it has conspicuously failed to do in the past.
But until there fundamental change to the tax system replaces tinkering no pre-Budget report – or Budget for that matter – is going to put an end to that.
For more on the pre-Budget report, click on the headlines below.
The fuel crisis
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