Tomorrow’s Budget: our predictions

Fierce lobbying on the Budget to date has been from three groups: those who want George Osborne to reach for some sort of fiscal stimulus (a Plan B); those who want a fiscal hatchet (drastic spending cuts); and those who want the Chancellor to opt for monetary levers (new Carney-style rate setting criteria for theRead more

The Mini Spending Review

When the Chancellor delivers his Budget speech next Wednesday he will already have one eye on his next set-piece appearance in the Commons. This week the Treasury announced it will publish a Spending Review on 26th June, establishing the parameters for departmental spending in 2015-16. That’s when the coalition’s current spending plans, drawn up shortlyRead more

Choice for patients, Headaches for Ministers

The former Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, might have been allowed a wry smile when observing the confusion sown by his successor’s new procurement regulations. Jeremy Hunt and his fellow ministers foresaw a dry exercise in renewing obsolete tendering rules for the new Clinical Commissioning Groups. However, the process has ended up threatening to reignite theRead more

The Aiken Effect

The Telegraph carries an interesting report this morning on Alex Aiken, the new Executive Director of Government Communications. According to the report, Mr Aiken ruffled feathers at his first meeting of senior civil servants by berating them for not working harder, particularly on the issues of the Scottish referendum and foreign affairs. Mr Aiken’s roleRead more

On Robert Chote’s letter

There was huge embarrassment in Number 10 on Friday. Robert Chote, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), sent a letter to David Cameron correcting key details from the Prime Minister’s speech on the economy, which was delivered the day before. Cameron had claimed that the government’s austerity policies had not affected economic growth.Read more

Should lobbyists work with UKIP?

Is it time commercial interests started talking to UKIP? Rupert Murdoch certainly seems to think so, in light of reports of a dinner last week between the media mogul and UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage. Murdoch’s modus operandi to influence in Westminster is very transparent. He gets to know politicians as soon as it is clearRead more

Kick-starting housing construction?

On the eve of the Budget (20th March), David Cameron and Nick Clegg are expected to announce a series of measures that will tackle the housing crisis in Britain. These measures are likely to include shared equity schemes, social housing and support for first-time buyers, demonstrating the increasing importance with which the delivery of housingRead more