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Wednesday 23 March 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:05 UK time, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tonight's Newsnight will be on for a full hour - from 10.30pm to 11.30pm - as we pick over the details of what Chancellor George Osborne announced in today's Budget.

Iain Watson and Michael Crick will be taking us through the key measures, the political calculations behind the figures and possible flashpoints.

Paul Mason will be taking a wide view of the measures and giving us his analysis of whether it is as the chancellor claims a "Budget for growth".

We will be speaking live in the studio to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle, and the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) Robert Chote.

We will be assessing what kind of chancellor Mr Osborne is with former chancellor Lord Lamont and economists Ann Pettifor and Irwin Stelzer.

And our Political Panel - Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman - will be here to debate all that we have learned.

Plus, following the news that actress Elizabeth Taylor has died, Stephen Smith will be looking back across her life on and off screen and we will be talking to fellow Oscar winner Julian Fellowes.

Join Jeremy for all of that and more in our extended programme from 10.30pm to 11.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    "Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman - will be hear to debate all that we have learned."

    well maybe a verity of truth there depending on what is chosen to be learned but it could be neither hear nor their

  • Comment number 2.


    The global cancer is alive, well and growing.

    Remind me what 'PPE' stands for again?

  • Comment number 3.

  • Comment number 4.

    'Going for growth' is no problem when you have this :-

    Silverfuterist points out the fact that we live in a feudal kleptocracy. Now called 'wavers'

  • Comment number 5.

    Poor Huw Edwards and poor Gavin Esler and poor Jeremy Paxman and poor Michael Crick and poor Nick Robinson are all having trouble making ends meet. They assume that the entire country is similarly inept at managing a budget and cutting a coat according to the cloth. Given that they are all so fiscally illiterate, are they really suitable people to be discussing economics with anyone.

  • Comment number 6.

    All in all a pretty positive budget speech by George Osborne but then he had to go and spoil it all by proposing a carbon floor price. The BBC hacks had worked out that what is proposed represents a 1.5 billion tax on home and business energy bills. Its the last thing you need when thinking about starting a manufacturing business, even if the RFTE has been effectively scrapped for the life of the parliament.

    Pretty neat alternative thinking to tax the oil companies to make up the shortfall in projected fuel duty revenue plus the token 1p reduction. However, it would appear that the overall Corporate Nazi arch plan to close and asset strip the UK is still on, and green policy remains the key stone.

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    :o) At least there's a cut in fuel duty and booze stays the same! Look forward to Jermey discussing the budget and my favourite trio too.

  • Comment number 9.

    Rawdoglet smells blood as JP Morgan get a registered NYMEX/COMEX vault license with-in two days

    Just remember they can change the rules to suit their needs this game will demonstrate just how far the 'waiver' goes

  • Comment number 10.

    But as well explained on Robert peston's blog ... this is a budget mainly for the benefit of large and global business and the 'most business able' rather than small business and Mr and Mrs Average ... as I think we were promised, in some ways.

    The big disappointment for me was the statement about VAT changes to be illegal and the lack of progress in slashing VAT.

    Apart from the big corporates and global sector of the economy, the budget does very little if anything in terms of impact, momentum and multipliers which are much needed to get the Uk domestic economy ... moving/rebalanced/restructured. redistributed.

    The Chancellor also appears to have ignored the golden opportunity to take a hands on approach to British imports and our supermarket cartels ... and to levy appropriate import duties and trade tax harmonisation tariffs.

    I find this missed budget opportunity to be predictable but very disappointing ... I don't think that the Chancellor will be able to keep his job for very long after this ... the UK domestic economy has stalled and no matter what the GDP progress on British global trade is ... I can't see some of the good work in what overall appears to be a lost budget opportunity - avoiding UK political turmoil in the next few years as the UK struggles under a series of bad economic measures.

    The enterprise zone initiative tends to favour the profits of property developers by ensuring that what new business is around migrates to the tax free/incentivised zones and tends to move business around rather than generate new business.

    The budget has not tackled the underlying structual problems in the UK economy which need very strong rebalancing and protection of domestic UK small business as including agriculture ... so that a redsitributive effect moves capital from big global business schemes into the UK regions.

    A question here for Paul Mason ... when the country is so short of cash - why did the Chancellor not employ some of the tactics of Atlee in running an austerity programme ... e.g. tight control of credit, capital and UK imports, slashing VAT and operating modern selective protectionsim ... is it just dogma, ideology, legal issues with EU ? ... Or is George Osborne just scared of being radical and bold, in order too please the 'old guard', Tory party establishment?

  • Comment number 11.

    Will you find time tonight to get an angle on the likely impact of today’s budget on the North Sea Oil and Gas Sector, especially its Aberdeen based industry and support systems? It is not the multi nationals who will be hurt the most, but the smaller independents, engineering and support organisations if this sector collapses or moves operations elsewhere.

    Try Sir Robert Smith, MP.

    And yes, this will affect my back yard significantly. IIRC last time such a move was made the NE Scotland sector, that’s a peaceful, stable oil producing nation to you and me, went into meltdown overnight and took many years to recover. I remember it only too well.

    If anything similar happens again, I cannot see the devastation in jobs and the local economy is likely to be offset by 1p/ltr drop in fuel duty at the pumps. Robbing Peter to pay Paul? What about Mary?

    Hope it all doesn't go 'Puff' like the magic Dragon.

  • Comment number 12.

    Al Qaida Commander backs the Libyan Rebels
    Déjà vu?

  • Comment number 13.

    Today Blythe is not joyous . The silver has rotation and will be the Master Masters

  • Comment number 14.

    Perhaps it took a couple of hours to actually sink in, but it would appear that the stock market parasites love Osborne's plan for a carbon floor price. Copper miners up on the prospect of investment in more wind farms, and it seems also oil service companies perhaps not unlike those described at threatened by the new tax on crude oil. Plenty of opportunities for investment scams when the new Green Bank opens, and even more cash than was originally anticipated ?

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.


    NewsyNighty functions within the lie of British democracy and Rule of law. Thus, when a revealing truth (or particularly key lie) is illuminated here, the Blogdog is moved to sensor - the rules are quite clear.

    One can only hope that, if we-the-people rise up against the iniquity and hypocrisy, woven into our British culture, the BBC will find integrity in some forgotten corner, and support us.

    One can only hope.

  • Comment number 17.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 18.

    Fantastic Jeremy tonight - :p oh Danny Alexander telling Angela Eagle to retake her GCSE in Economics. Hillarious!! great to see Irwin Stelzer on too, and Norman Lamont back on Newsnight - where his career ended.......a certain person asking whether he'd miss being Chancellor :D Loved my favourite trio of Danny/Peter/Olly discussing the budget too.

    RIP Liz Taylor - great tribute :)

  • Comment number 19.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 20.

    "This month Bill Dudley, president of the New York Fed, travelled to Queens, a borough of New York City, to discuss the economy and the workings of the central bank. But the audience was unimpressed with his assurances that, even as food and energy costs were rising, "today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 and is twice as powerful." One attendee quipped: "I can't eat an iPad."

    "It appears that Mr Paul's subcommittee on monetary policy will not be allowed to summon Mr Bernanke to testify." = Waiver boy

  • Comment number 21.

    Angela Eagle.... YUK !

    Is she a real person or a computer generated characature amplifying all we find against trust, is it possible to have so much web spinning in a single entity so as the entity is caught in its own web visible to all but itself.

    A political singularity.

    I am sorry for it.

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.


    Jeremy Hardy once made a telling (if tasteless) joke - against the Conservatives, but it fits all Westminster denizens - that 'coming across a bunch of them, one might assume there had been a nuclear accident'.

    Westminster functions via the party-mentality of pre-selection for ambition, subservience, and adjustable ethics. (The allowances fracas was pre-ordained, as were the Woolas et al court cases.) Political practice is, at best, amoral and routinely, immoral. Hence: Westminster draws a very unlovely SUB-set of humanity to do its self-serving work.

    In truth, while this pertains, Britain will go nowhere nice. Small wonder we (judiciously) crush Johnnie Foreigner, while jingoing to the Westminster vaulting. ‘It is a truth, widely acknowledged, that a man possessed of insoluble problems at home, is looking to start an easy war abroad.’

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 24.

    Angela eagle. I wonder what her life has consisted of before becoming an MP.. ?

    She went to Uni -politics, philosophy and economics - later becoming chairwoman at the oxford Fabian society (if that ain't a giveaway). Got a couple of non-jobs - because of affirmative action - then became a politician.

    This woman couldn't run a tea shop.

    Red Ed Miliband:
    Are we still supposed to take him serious? how long do we have to keep up the pretence? I'm starting to bite my knuckles every time I see him.
    Anyhow, he couldn't run a tea shop either.

    Maybe its just me but whenever I see Red Ed.. I always think why he's not wearing his head know, those things that rugby players sometimes wear.

  • Comment number 25.


    Ed's 'forward thinking' constantly intrudes on his present delivery. It is very wearing (Eddie Waring) AND messes up one puch line after another.

    It turns out, that is what the blank stare was trying to warn them of. Of course, Westminster is configured not to read individuals the way us ordinary folk do! That's how they got Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and the Davo-Clegg alliance.


  • Comment number 26.

    I think Danny Alexander was a little rough on Angela Eagle last night. Any companies can pass on their cost increases to consumers. The oil and gas industry is a cartel, as such, consumers have very little bargaining power – you can see it by checking the oil price in futures market and comparing that to the trend of our retail price over time. Ms Eagle looks positively frightened every time she comes on the show. Honestly I don’t understand why she still agrees to come on the show. Her taking on Paxo is like me taking on Goldman Sachs every now and then I try to invest a little money in the markets. I thought the Brits are supposed to be gentle-men, no? ^^

  • Comment number 27.

    Angela Eagle is RUBBISH. She has not got a clue. Why bother having her on the show anyway?

  • Comment number 28.

    pre-election, the Tories made a deal with the SNP - the loss of Scottish votes would increase Tory % of UK votes tremendously. I wonder how the queen thinks about losing Scotland from the Union to improve the chances of Tory victory?

    wow, i never knew that taking a penny off oil tax could create growth in the economy and rebuild manufacturing, if it was so easy how could previous Govts get it so wrong??? lol :/

    could it be possible for NN/BBC show BOTH inflation figures? Why would that be a problem, surely the UK Govt wouldn't like to prevent freedom of speech and public information..?

    so... cutting over 1m jobs only creates a 0.2% "headwind", whatever the [bleep] that means. Absolutely ridiculous. The use of Govt power to enforce fascist-economics is more like it. Interesting - and revealing - discussion about forecasting. Its a pity the forecasters are not required to place their own wealth on being accurate... might improve matters.

    ...and what would the UK economic forecasts be if the interest rates hike?

    planning deregulation: so apparently allowing Tesco to ignore public opinions will create "growth" in our economy???

    is Danny Alexander an Osborne clone? They speak the same, they say the same, its utterly bizarre. I wonder if they also sleep together?

    Alexander is yuck. "Plan B". Jeremy is fabulous.

    eagle v danny-boy: Labour and Tories could have swapped scripts depending on which of them 'won the election'. Its just a game to them, generals planning nuclear war from underground bunkers. (from India).

    new labour, farting in the wind.

    or [P]ing in the swimming pool? Can't decide. We should have a poll.

    people are switching from tories to labour? WHY!?!?! :O

    the private owners of the oil companies are pocketing over £20Bn year? What a pity the tax-payer doesn't own them then.

    1.1 million people earn less than £8000??? Jeezus christs. But only bankers and CEOs need positive 'incentivizing', the rest of us are just threatened and coerced. And ultimately impoverished.

    the two chancellors/shadow - ever hear 'A' level teenagers argue at college??? :/

    supply side economists. Unbelievable. These people should be in prison. They are FAR more of a threat to us than the Taliban.

    Tories want to integrate NI and income tax. No more ring-fencing for welfare paid for by the people. Now that money too can be given to the banks..

    Osborne IS radical - but radical in the wrong direction. Its HIGHLY unlikely that the strategy will achieve the aims stated.

    there is decades of lower growth because it is less attractive for domestic companies because of the Corporate control of our economy (and Govt) - and Lamont, shockingly (lol), didn't touch that. According to him, more Corporate control, and less tax they pay, and the better off we will all be. And *I* am accused of being on drugs??

    since when do tax-havens (regional investment zones) create growth? They are used by the corporate sector to gain ever greater economic control.

    this was a disaster budget, the Titanic's aristocrats arguing that blowing a hole in the hull on the opposite side to the iceberg would allow the water flow back out again. It was absolutely no surprise (but revealing to learn) that this so-called 'Chancellor' has no grasp of economics beyond the primers used for training the denser of Murdoch's editors during the Thatcher years.

    philip blonde (?) on tues made infinitely more sense, as i said.

    [oh, didn't post tues yet.. :/]


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