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Did you believe all you read in the pre-budget report?

Alistair Darling today stands accused of a "pre-election con" in many of today's newspapers with suggestions that the various benefit increases announced yesterday will never come to fruition and will need to be scaled back after the election. The fact is that the UK government, and any future UK government, will be very short of additional funding and will need to "rob Peter to pay Paul". So will people fall for the pre-election pre-budget report?

Once you take away the headline grabbing taxes on bankers, pension increase and other voter friendly policies, the truth is that each and every person in the UK will pay more in taxes in the short to medium term due to the amount of money pumped into the UK economy. While many people may look towards the banking sector and the eventual sale of shares in Lloyds bank, Royal Bank of Scotland as well as a potential sale of the Northern Rock business, these investments are unlikely to make any significant dent in the overall UK government debt.

Whichever angle you use to look at the UK pre-budget report the sad fact is that the UK economy is still on its knees, the budget deficit will remain large for some years to come and the UK is still struggling.

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