The Con-Dem chancellor, George Osborne, claims his budget (24 March) is the “most pro-growth budget for a generation”. But the British economy is barely crawling along, and the budget will do nothing to promote growth.
The government previously predicted 2.3% growth of gross domestic product (GDP – value of the total output of goods and services) for 2011. Now, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts meagre growth of 1.7% of GDP for 2011. Even that may prove to be optimistic given the scale of spending cuts and tax increases.