Sunday 4 December 2016

Read the small print to find the harsh reality of Budgets

Published 07/01/2016 | 02:30

Always read the small print. This is especially true of the annual Budget. Some of the print is so small that only experts can comprehend it, and they will tell you that some important stuff is not in there at all.

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As for the experts themselves, they too require careful study. None more so than the annual analysis of the distribution effects of the Budget published by the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute.

This is one of the most valuable documents in the process. It uses complex models devised to incorporate economic output, taxation and social welfare and, as such, is a better guide to the impact of budgets than the more restricted examples in other comparisons - usually from some interest group or other.

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