The OBR was set up to be an independent authority, but the public isn't convinced
The budget sends a big message to the nation, but do people really want this annual spectacle? After all, some have suggested there are better ways to run the economy
And do people trust the process? In a new YouGov poll for Red Box, we asked: “Do you think having an annual budget where the Chancellor announces tax changes for the year ahead is a good or bad thing?” 66% said it was ‘a good thing’, and only 11% said it was ‘bad’.
We then asked: “In 2010 the government set up the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to provide independent figures on government spending, tax and borrowing. To what extent, if at all, do you trust the OBR to produce accurate and independent figures?” Here the picture is rather less positive: 37% trust it, and 37% do not. This seems to me an important missed opportunity – democracy will surely work better if people believe they have solid information against which to measure politicians’ claims, and all sides should unite to ensure a higher profile for this independent fiscal watchdog.