I have rarely seen a budget or PBR unravel so quickly and be received so badly by virtually every conceivable audience. It's not surprising that very few Labour MPs were in the chamber to hear the PBR - and very few have been out on the airwaves defending it. I am not surprised.
How can you put up child benefit 6 months before an election and then say you will cut it afterwards? They really think people are stupid, don't they? Alistair Darling has now denied that is the case.
He also says that NHS is ringfenced from cuts and yet the NI increase leaves it with a bill of an extra £446 million. Where is that money to be found?
Darling said on TODAY this morning that the non ringfenced departments' budgets would be "broadly flat" in the years after 2011. So, how, exactly, does he intend to cut borrowing by half? The answer is that he intends to do it by the extra tax proceeds which will be raised by the economy growing at 3.5% a year. The only trouble with that hypothesis that no serious economist agrees with the Chancellor that growth will be at that level. Indeed, you don't have to look too hard to find economists who believe there will be very little growth at all.
Guido is right. The PBR the British Chancellor should have delivered, was delivered yesterday in Dublin. Hopefully George Osborne is studying it in great detail.