"The March 2010 Budget, to be held next Wednesday, will inevitably be highly political as it is effectively the starting gun for the general election campaign. In this context, further significant fiscal measures to tackle the 178 billion pound government deficit will almost certainly be postponed.
Whatever the political colour (or colours) of the next Government, tough decisions will need to be taken in a second Budget within months of the general election. Individual taxpayers and businesses should steel themselves for a frustrating period of uncertainty as party politics overshadow the uncomfortable fiscal imperative to raise significant additional tax revenues as a contribution, alongside significant public spending cuts, to curb the unsustainable fiscal deficit.
In the wake of the credit quake we have seen a 42 billion pounds fall in tax collections. This leaves the Chancellor very little room for any tax cuts to curry favour with voters but, equally, he dare not raise taxes significantly in a Budget held only a few weeks before a general election. We can expect a ‘Phoney Budget’ on 24th March with any hard hitting, significant tax raising measures deferred until the second 2010 Budget."