Wednesday 9 December 2009 - in more detail
Here's Kirsty Wark with what is coming up on tonight's programme:
If Alistair Darling didn't have to countenance an election within six months would his Pre-Budget Report have looked very different?
He kept banging on about fairness, so is it fair? And fair or not is it the right PBR to get us out of the doldrums?
Tonight we'll be deciphering it all with our editors Michael Crick and Paul Mason, senior politicians - Liam Byrne, Phillip Hammond and Vince Cable - and our Newsnight political panel.
The headline grabber was the attempt to cut off bankers' bonuses at the knees, levying a one off tax of 50% on awards over £25,000, payable by the banks - the chancellor promised there could be no avoidance.
Is he right to be so sure? And how can he assert it will garner half a billion for the unemployed when we have no idea whether the bonuses will be paid or not?
And how does this PBR really help the lower paid when there's to be a cap of 1% on public sector pay rises for two years from 2011 AND a doubling of the planned increase in National Insurance, and how does it encourage aspiration when the Inheritance Tax threshold is now to remain the same?
And then there is the massive deficit - £178bn (double the amount that drove Denis Healey to the IMF cap in hand) - an upward revision from £175bn, which Mr Darling forecast would be cut to £82bn in four years.
But he is refusing to make targeted spending cuts until 2011, and indeed benefits are to rise - both the state pension and child and disability benefits.
The shadow chancellor George Osborne insists that public spending needs to be cut now - and we'll be trying to get to the bottom of how they'll fill the hole .
And then there's the nod to the environment, including a scrappage scheme to replace 125,000 home boilers - yes that's a whole 125,000!!
So it's all about bankers and boilers. A May election anyone?