Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Budget.

I don't know why I'm even bothering posting on this as Budget Day is no longer the event it once was. I'm sure the older among us can remember huddling around the TV or radio on budget night waiting for the fateful words from the Minister of Finance that would see the price of our cigarettes or booze be jacked up another notch. I recall my uncle being beet red and spluttering in an incoherent rage as the cost of his Friday night expeditions to the pub made an even bigger dent in his pay packet. I also remember my parents listening in to see what would happen to their family benefit entitlements. In a Labour Budget they were generally happy, in a National one less so. I could never figure out whether this had anything to do with the actual budget or their slightly left of centre political leanings.

However those days are now long gone with the Government dishing out its secrets and strategies well in advance. Sure there's still a lock up for the media and an embargo on the advanced copies, but there seems little point to it as the interesting stuff is already out there. The Government has taken all the fun and anticipation out of the event which is a real pity.

On the plus side it has removed the need for journalists (such as myself) to madly find reaction left right and centre to the whole shebang on Budget night. Because, and let's be honest here, who likes writing business stories anyway?

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