Budget 2011: A case of tunnel vision
The key lesson from today's budget announcement is that the Chancellor's stubbornness is not confined to his approach to deficit reduction: it also extends to his refusal to countenance an industrial strategy.
Just as there will be no 'Plan B' for the deficit, there will not be even a 'Plan A' for supply-side economic policy. The Chancellor is hoping that cuts in public spending, cuts in corporation tax and cuts in regulation will be sufficient to generate strong growth in private sector job creation. History suggests he is wrong. Without a different approach, the result is likely to be economic growth that disappoints over the next few years and sustained high levels of unemployment.