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Treasury announced today that the pre budget report will be given by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer on Tuesday 9 October.

Two working days notice? How is that for democracy? The point being this is an annual policy announcement which needs to be properly heard, analysed and distilled by advisers such as ourselves, and its hard to plan our resources at such short notice.

So bets on a general election being called after the speech?