The devil will be in the detail when it comes to the reality of the Budget

Editorial: The inconvenient truths about the chancellor’s package of measures will only arrive with the publication of the official ‘red book’ and subsequent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies

Tuesday 26 October 2021 21:30

The speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is angry. He says it is “not acceptable” for the government to announce its Budget measures in advance, spinning as it goes.

Sir Lindsay is right, but this habit of ignoring parliament’s prerogatives is far from new, and hardly confined to Budget measures. Indeed, for some years it has been increasingly rare for any announcement of substance to be made to MPs first. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its need for speed, has accelerated the trend.

The problem for Sir Lindsay is that there are relatively few sanctions available to him, beyond inconveniencing ministers with urgent questions and the like. At the moment, he sounds like the headmaster at morning assembly, finding that his words have little effect on his sniggering charges.

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