Nick Horne's Monday Morning

UK budget unravels in three days

LONDON Monday Morning and it’s the Budget Day today. A bright spark in the Treasury decided that a Budget in the Autumn was a good idea , what with Brexit happening in the Spring.

Then they started looking at the calendar.

Having made the ‘difficult’ decision to move the Budget from one season to another the next steps were obvious, choose the day. Months ticked past while the Treasury team had meetings, conferences and brain storming sessions where the actual date of the Budget was debated and discussed.

Naturally enough the progress or not of the Brexit discussions in and with the European Union were also factored into the planning.

I can imagine PowerPoint presentation hell. Picture dozens of highflyer civil servants and economic advisers of and to the Treasury putting forward their considered and sanguine views as to when was the most auspicious moment for the Chancellor to rise from his seat, open his papers at the Despatch Box and present the Budget to a nation gasping in wonder.

Having picked the season they discussed interminably the date when a dawning realisation that the most likely date was the 31 October.

Since time began the Budget has been presented to the awe struck nation on a Wednesday, however you can see the obvious problem.

That date coincides with ‘All Hallows Eve’ or as our American cousins would have it Halloween. All Saints Day being the 1 November.

Horror struck faces all round the conference tables as during the Summer while all about was basking in sunshine, apart from the Brexit Talks of course, the realisation gently sank in that the Budget would be associated with Halloween by all the Tabloid Newspapers who would with out fail poke fun at the Budget.

Nothing worse could be imagined. No doubt you can see the headlines in your own minds eye too. As the Summer the best in 40 years wore on and the Brexit negotiations ground to a halt in stalemate a bright spark at the Treasury was struck by another idea; present the Budget on Monday.

So here we are it’s Monday, it’s UK Budget day and as tradition has it the Budget will be presented from the Despatch Box in the House of Commons.

The Chancellor with a glass of some sort close to hand will pull rabbits from hats and the assembly will howl and yelp as the mood moves them.

Then three days on the Budget will unravel as it traditionally does. On this occasion to coincide with Halloween.

Nick Horne, London, England

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