The autumn Budget is on Wednesday, when we will get the usual tsunami of numbers about the economy and public finances, together with a string of things that the government is spending money on. That will be followed by a series of protests from the various lobby groups about the underfunding of their areas of interest, plus another set of protests from other lobbyists about the rising burden of taxes to pay for all this.
There is nothing wrong with all this. Quite the reverse, for it is a key part of the whole democratic process that public spending and taxation should be scrutinised in this way. But the noise of the competing interest groups drowns out the signals that might tell us what is really happening.
So what might those signals be?
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