According to the FT Sajid Javid is announcing that today that the Budget will be on March 11. As they note, a focus will be on delivering on the promise to the North:
The Financial Times understands Treasury officials have been instructed to view all Budget measures through the lens of improving economic performance in parts of the UK far from the more prosperous south-east of England.
The Tories seized seats off Labour at the election in the north, the Midlands and Wales, many in so-called left-behind areas.
To achieve this they note:
The Budget money stems from the Conservatives’ pledge to raise net capital spending from about 2 per cent of gross domestic product to 3 per cent, giving the chancellor some £100bn for investment over five years.
Of this war chest, the chancellor has about £80bn to allocate to projects over the next few years.
So, the Tories are going to deliver maybe £20 billion a year for investment when the expected minimum requirement for a Green New Deal is £100 bn a year for a decade. In other words, they are planning to fail to deliver the green transformation this country requires.
And worryingly, the FT notes:
But outside of infrastructure spending, most of the money needed to boost underperforming regions will need to be raised from additional tax revenues because Mr Javid faces tight public finances.
Having already announced a loosening of his fiscal rules to take advantage of low interest rates for more investment, the Conservatives’ manifesto promised to balance the current budget — so that tax revenues exceed day-to-day public spending — within three years.
In other words, a wholly inadequate infrastructure programme that is unlikely to be that green apart, the Tories are planning to continue with austerity, whatever the consequences for well being.
And given that no serious commentator thinks that there will be any significant growth at all in the UK in the coming year, and that Brexit harms any prospect of it, imposing such a constraint now means that any chance of a fiscal stimulus - of exactly the sort that even the FT is now calling for - is now extremely small indeed.
In other words, Sajid Javid is planning to set out to fail the country.