Osborne’s Office of Budget Responsibility reeks of old politics

It was straight from the Gordon Brown playbook: become Chancellor of the Exchequer, then give away power to esteemed, independent body to prove your market-friendly credentials. The establishment of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was George Osborne’s attempt to join the ‘change’ brigade, but it is surely a triumph of spin over substance.

The OBR, an independent quango, will take responsibility from the Treasury for the government’s economic and fiscal forecasts. The Treasury, so the argument goes, is a ministerial department, and therefore the temptation for politicians to meddle in its analysis is too great to resist. It seems Mr Osborne doesn’t trust himself.

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Image: CBI