Here is a round-up of some of the reaction from bloggers to this afternoon’s Pre-Budget Report and the response given by George Osborne, which we have already hailed as oustanding.
Iain Dale says that this is the day that Labour "blew it big time" and describes George Osborne’s performance as "really strong". He also quotes a non-Conservatve MP as having told him: "This wasn’t George Osborne. It was Ozzy
Osborne – drawing blood!"
Janet Daley at the Telegraph says the PBR was "more of a take-away than a give-away Budget", given that the tax increases outweighed the fiscal stimulus. She says that in his response, George Osborne "did very well".
Her colleague, Iain Martin, is a very angry man, describing the scale of the Government’s mismanagement of the economy as
"breathtaking" and "a gross moral failure by this government". In a later post, Iain heaps praise on George Osborne, whom only a couple of weeks ago he was asking to be moved from the shadow chancellorship. He describes Osborne’s performance as "absolutely blistering and his best Commons performance to date", concluding that "it was seriously impressive and strengthens his position enormously."
The observations of Alex Singleton, meanwhile, concentrate on George Osborne. Saying that he came across as "a powerful and effective shadow chancellor", he concludes that "his performance will
have done much to restore faith in his position".
Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, welcomed the immediate VAT cut, but said the prospect of large tax rises in the future was "very worrying". He called for "permanently low taxes, not a crippling debt mountain and higher tax to come. It is unfair that the Chancellor is not going to make the public sector share any of the pain of the recession. If the Government cut out wasteful and unnecessary public spending, we could have larger tax cuts, less borrowing and a faster recovery.”
Harwich MP Douglas Carswell blogged live from the Commons, expressing exasperation at the Speaker for not taking Labour MPs to task for heckling George Osborne, whilst he did admonish a number of Tory MPs.
The Burning Our Money blog describes Alistair Darling’s expectation of a mild rececssion as "pie in the sky" and concludes that it is a "a bad news budget that’s actually even worse than it looks".
Peter Hoskin at Coffee House wonders whether Alistair Darling’s gamble will pay off. Pointing out that "the Treasury’s tax receipt and net borrowing figures always tend to be optimisitic", he wonders whether this time they’re even more optimistic than usual.
Menawhile, his colleague, James Forsyth, writes a post with the alliterative headline, "Labour fails to get bang for its borrowed buck". He predicts that Darling has potentially set himself up for a fall by predicting growth in Q3 next year and also describes George Osborne’s performance as "his strongest ever Commons performance", adding: "Today was the day that Osborne proved that he is up to the task of
being Shadow Chancellor at a time when the economic question is once
more dominating politics".
And Fraser Nelson’s reading of the figures is that the debt bombshell "is not due to explode until 2015/16", concluding that "this is not just an ecnomic failure, but a moral one".
In a post entitled "Osborne Wows", Guido writes that his co-conspirators were hugely impressed with Osborne’s performance. He also cites Tom Clougherty of the Adam Smith Instititue as describing the shadow chancellor’s performance as "the speech of his life".