If Owen Paterson can blame badgers, why shouldn’t Osborne?
(Spot the deliberate mistake time – the Bank of England’s Governor is now Mark Carney).

Pride's Purge


Chancellor George Osborne’s deficit-busting plans will come under more pressure on Friday as figures show Government borrowing is on course to miss full-year targets as a result – the Treasury claims – of an unexpected shift in the goals caused by badgers.

The rise in public sector net borrowing – blamed by the Treasury on unexpected financial interventions such as hoarding of assets by grey squirrels – is expected to be £13.3 billion in June, compared with £13.1 billion last year.

The weak figures will trouble the Chancellor who wants to trim borrowing in 2013/2014 to £120 billion from £127.6 billion last year. However, Mr Osborne claims the shortfall will be alleviated by a one-off £28 billion boost from the transfer of pension funds into Treasury ownership by hedgehogs – an explanation which has been met with some scepticism from financial experts.

Last week, Mr Osborne and Bank of…

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