Budget Letdown

Well, I spent an hour or so watching the Budget coverage yesterday afternoon, but I can’t say I was knocked out with excitement over Alistair Darling’s measures. He tried to make out that it was a Budget to help those struggling in the credit crunch, but then happily hit us all in the wallet by hiking the duty on alcohol, tobacco and petrol. Luckily I don’t smoke, but it’s definitely time to get that home brew lager on again I think…

I appreciate that, as Darling said yesterday, “there are no quick fixes” to the financial mess we’re in, but it’s a worry that as a country we’re borrowing so much, not to mention the still somewhat overoptimistic economic forecasts. Plus, maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t feel there was enough in the Budget to help people who are losing their jobs. OK, so there was extra funding for the Jobcentre Plus system, but really the whole system is in the dark ages and needs to be overhauled. And while there were training subsidies announced for the under 25s and 16 to 17 year olds, there was nothing much for older workers. It was all a bit of a letdown really.

But enough of the unexciting Budget – what I am excited about is my potatoes. They are HUGE! As you can see, I’m growing them in old compost bags so that they don’t take up all the room in my vegetable plot, and I’ve already had to top them up with compost twice in three days. I swear that when I turn my back on them and go indoors for 30 minutes they grow another couple of inches. DJ called them monstrous this morning, which I think was a bit rude of him. My onions are going great guns too, although not quite as dramatically as the potatoes. I caught one of our hens, Lexi, trying to dig one of the red onions up the other day and I was none too impressed.

However, I’ve not had as much luck with all of my flower seeds. While my petunias have pretty much all come up, only one geranium seed has germinated. At least I think it’s a geranium. It’s hard to tell at this stage, but it could be a weed. And only one of my busy lizzies has germinated, which is a bit disappointing. Quite a few of my nasturtiums haven’t come up either. DJ has donated some of his to me, which was very kind but it’s not quite the same. I went to take a peek at the seed packets and discovered, at least, why the geraniums have put in such a poor show. It turns out that the seeds went off in 2007. Oops. But the busy lizzy seeds should still be ok, so I don’t understand why they haven’t germinated. Oh well, I guess you win some and you lose some. DJ’s tomato plants are looking very impressive, but I hope my own ones­ – Legend and Rainbow mix – will be just as big and strong when they come up. Have been talking to my pumpkin, cucumber and cauliflower seeds since I planted them on Sunday but nothing doing yet!

What did you make of the Budget? Do you think it was a missed opportunity?

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10 Responses to Budget Letdown

  1. Rik says:

    Glad the taters are doing so well! Can you believe I haven\’t got any tomato\’s in yet? Not to worry though, I get them from a friend for nothing when they\’re already doing well, I like gardeners delight\’s best myself. He did get me to try the yellow ones (forget their name) the other year, didn\’t like them much! Not much in the way of garden in the house we\’re in now (same as the last one) so it\’s a case of "borrowing" the greenhouse at the folks place which is only a minuite or two\’s walk away. As for the budget, when isn\’t it a missed opportunity? Lol!

  2. Christine says:

    Be of good cheer – you only need a couple of nasturtiums to appear. If you let them go to seed in situ after they have flowered you will have squillions of the pests next year. Eat the leaves in salad and use a few flowers for decorating food whilst leaving enough of them to go to seed. The busy lizzie is a very awkward flower to get to germinate so don\’t sob if nothing happens – we\’ve all had problems with the busy lizze for those who bother with them (sorry I think that they are ugly). I think that your tomatoes are a little bit late in getting their faces showing personally. Most of us have potted them on at least once. My cucumbers are going along very well and should be nicely sturdy to go out end of May after the last frost here.You couldn\’t expect much from the budget as the treasury is already borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I\’m sorry but it was excess lending to those who should never have had access to credit that started a lot of the present financial problems. And now the government is going down the same path of borrowing to lend to banks and businesses which may yet turn out not to be creditworthy! In the main the borrowings aren\’t even being invested in research and design for new products but mostly going with "old technology" rather than cutting edge which is where the profit for tomorrow will be. And I say that even after the dabbling in small fashion with environmental products. But hey ho, what does your average MP know about the real world. It does seem a bit silly though to keep on taxing the same old things – alcohol, fags and petrol. The fuel rises will cause problems – bus prices will rise to cover the costs and we have few enough buses in rural areas now so if people can\’t afford the fares, there will be fewer. There are still plenty of diesel trains and I suspect that fares will rise yet further to cover the extra tax.

  3. FATMAN says:

    Damn I\’ve hidden all my vast piles of cash in a old Tin mine in Cornwall…So I will not have to refloat the economy… My garden in Cornwall has taken a hammering with the frosts and as it is tropical I have a lot of rare plants which are not looking as good as they should do.. My Rare Banana which I wa worried about has come through though… I think I only lost one of them… I shall be busy trying to grow a hardy Orchid this summer which apparently likes partial shade and only need mulching in the winter… Here in Pisa the whole garden is doing far too well and the tomatoes are looking excellent as is all th other Veg, not that I get much chance to pick it… The old lady who looks after the villa eats most of it hahhah

  4. piper says:

    Yes I should have planted my toms earlier really. I wasn\’t going to bother as DJ had already grown about 20 plants of different varieties but he said I should anyway, so I planted them on Sunday. He has potted them on now. Must get some lettuces in too. Perhaps my tin of old pennies will help refloat the economy too, Fatman Live! Looks like we\’ll all have to dig them out at this rate…

  5. FATMAN says:

    Tins of Pennies…Very important..But they are not old pennies are they, as I appear to have some white five pound notes in my wallet.

  6. Rik says:

    Oh dear! I opened my mouth didn\’t I? My free toms this year have let me down and now it looks like I\’ve got to buy some plants – oh the shame….

  7. David says:

    Budgets come, budgets go and nothing much happens, except the gin costs more. We\’re fans of Gardeners\’ Delight too, and Petita cucumbers – but you Southerners would be amazed how far behind we are : the toms are still seedlings, and the tatties are well-chitted, but not in the ground yet! We say, When the willow warbler sings, get yer tatties in! Cheers!

  8. David says:

    Update! The Willow Warbler singeth, pat on cue! Been shifting rocks, so too knackered to plant tatties. Full list of WW dates of arrival for interested phenologists/birders on my blog. Hope to see you there…

  9. Basil says:

    I retired at 47 – I\’m now 58 and am living life to the full!! Life is for enjoying and not to become a drudge. The British army has the right idea – work for 22 years and then out!! 22 years is enough for anybody!!

  10. jofparro says:

    I worked till I was 78 ,most people could do the same ,better than sittimg around waiting to kick the bucket surely

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