Gordon Brown faces a critical day tomorrow. It is perhaps win or bust time, the final point at which Gordon Brown can see off any serious potential rivals for the Labour Leadership. If he blows it you will probably see his odds of succeeding Blair lengthening.
The difficulty is that he has to succeed at a very difficult balancing act. To gain the confidence of the general public he has to avoid stealth taxes, in fact he probably needs to reduce the overall tax burden and commit to lowering it in future; yet to succeed with the grass roots of the Labour Party he has to be seen to be moving towards their agenda - a direction that is historically not one that is compatible with tax-cutting.
To start to win over David Cameron, he has to show that he has got to grips with the Green agenda, which he singularly failed to do with his disastrous tax hike on air travel. Similar failures to find Green taxes that fail to incentivise good behaviour will simply prove that he still doesn't understand the issue.
To start to win with Lib Dem voters he has to show he isn't Menzies Campbell (i.e. over promoted and already past his best!!).
As ever with Mr Brown's budget, it will be impossible to provide an accurate analysis because he isn't big enough to stand up and announce the bad parts of his budgets in the House, preferring the cowardly approach of burying the painful stuff deep within the supporting paperwork. It is only as those things are discovered that a real analysis can be undertaken.
Labels: Budget, Gordon Brown