Not good enough: That’s our panel’s verdict on Alistair Darling’s last Budget before the election

WEDNESDAY’S?Budget was almost certainly Alistair Darling’s last. Even if Labour does hang on to power,?Gordon Brown is unlikely to keep him on as chancellor. For that reason, Darling was acutely aware of his own reputation, and managed to resist pressure to announce a raft of gimmicky pre-election giveaways. But our panel was still distinctly unimpressed, not least by what they considered over-optimistic growth forecasts.

• City A.M.’s partner interviewed 422 panelists via email on 25 March.

To apply to join the panel, fill in the short application form at


Here are a selection of comments from our panelists:

“I don’t believe a word of what he said. There’s a fiddle in it somewhere.”

“All too complicated and opaque – but better than Gordon Brown.”

“This was a hit the rich Budget, we needed a cut the welfare state budget.”

“The assumptions made in the Budget are unrealistic and do little to instil any confidence.”

“Should have done more to ease the deficit.”

“Political speech, not a Budget.”

“A fool’s Budget.”

“A good Budget, for fairness and growth.”

“It was not so much Darling’s Budget that angered me, but more so Cameron’s moaning about a national insurance contributions hike without committing to reverse it.”

“Taxing the wealthy sounds great and certainly plays well, but people will leave. I already know of numerous people who are moving to Geneva for this very reason.”

All scores are mean scores