UK Chancellor Announces Pre-Budget Report Date
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has announced that the pre-budget report will occur on Wednesday 9th December 2009.
Once upon a time, Budget Day, which takes place in the Spring, was the one time that the dull numbers game became headline news in the UK.
It was the only time in the year that ordinary British people paid attention to news about tax rates changes and the level of duty on tobacco, alcohol, and petrol.
But for the last decade there's been another budget event that's also grabbed a share in the headlines: the pre-budget report.
Intended as a progres update since the previous budget, the pre-budget report has become almost as newsworthy as the main event. In 2008 the pre-budget report was the launchpad for a number of signficant changes, including the reduction of VAT, a form of sales tax, from 17.5% to 15%, with one week's notice.
Traditionally chancellors have delighted in keeping one or two Budget Day announcements close to their chest, taking pundits by surprise and grabbing a few headlines on the day. Politicians love attention, so it looks like we're starting to see the same tactic applied to the pre-budget report.
Given that this is the last pre-budget report before the next General Election, there's almost certainly going to be one or two surprises tucked away inside.
The next few weeks will see increased speculation about what the Chancellor will, or will not, say. We'll just have to wait and see.