Chancellor Alistair Darlings first budget failed to inspire as he reported increased public borrowing and falling growth rates.
On inflation, the chancellor reaffirmed a target of 2% based on the consumer price index, but hit the usual victims of increased taxation, booze, cigarettes and petrol-guzzling cars.
He also announced an additional 7bn of borrowing in the coming tax year over the Government's October estimates, up from 36bn to 43bn. The news does not get better in the subsequent year, with public sector net borrowing rising another 7bn to 38 billion the year after.
The chancellor pointed the finger squarely at the credit crisis spurring a global economic slowdown. "This poses a major risk to the world economy," he said, but he argued that the UK was in a better position to weather th...