Business was at its most sceptical yesterday as it tried to digest the Budget.
After all, how many times have they been told that the Government will rid them of red tape?
Can anyone explain how different Birmingham has become now it is a "science city"?
Could there by chance be a General Election imminent?
And, don't for goodness sake, mention the word...euro.
Business leaders in Birmingham claimed the Budget was disappointing and offered little help to small companies.
A panel of experts brought together by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "Although Mr Brown has tinkered around the edges with promised reductions in regulation, there is little in there that will affect the small businesses today.
"What positive announcements there were, were aimed much more strongly at pensioners, young homeowners and students, all with a clear eye on the election.
"For businesses it was a non-event. The reduction of inspection bodies from 35 to nine does not mean an automatic cut in red tape. The pledge to ensure that regulation is applied where there is no alternative, is mincing words."
Some things were welcomed.
The panel went on: "The promise to work with chambers of commerce to encourage take-up among the 600,000 now eligible for benefit from the simplification of VAT and corporation tax will be fully supported in Birmingham.
"And the expansion of entrepreneurial scholarships will help to reduce the skills gap provided it does not deprive business of large numbers of staff during the business day for training."
But that was about it. The panel went on: "Mr Brown's promise to examine Britain's long-term needs and priorities for transport has little substance.
" Birmingham's chronic need for investment in this area has not yet been answered and we fear that the bulk of any increase in transport expenditure will be devoted to London with an eye on the 2012 Olympics bid.
" The promise to boost transport spend could be soaked up in the West Midlands alone. And we are deeply concerned about the burden that doubling paid maternity leave will create. The Chancellor is proposing to reduce the administrative burdens on business while adding a significant one by extending parental rights."
Oh, and what about "science city"?
Describing the announcement as a "small nugget of encouragement", the chamber noted: "With little detail it is difficult to know what benefits this will have."
Sir Digby Jones, CBI director-general, was in more generous mood than the chamber.
He said: "This is a measured Budget which has been crafted to ensure that economic stability is maintained. The Chancellor has avoided the temptation of pre-election risk taking, targeting help only where it is needed most.
"I applaud the deregulation measures outlined. This must be at the heart of the UK's battle to be competitive. But the delivery of change will be the acid test. Business will be heartened that for the first time increases in public spending will be tied to the achievement of specific reforms in specific departments.
"Employees of the government and local authorities must sign up to these reforms."
Louise Beard, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, warned that businesses should be more concerned with what was not said in the Budget in terms of aiding UK competitiveness, rather than what was said.
She said: "Encouraging greater business investment and a stronger export economy is critical, but difficult at a time of high costs for business, particularly those in the manufacturing sector.
"There is a strong recognition in the West Midlands that our businesses can not compete in a global economy on price, but rather must look to invest in the skills and knowledge of people, in new business processes, new innovative products and, essentially, research and development.
"It was pleasing to hear that the Chancellor will look to increase R&D tax credits, but this needs to be significant enough to make a real difference to business.
"There was good news for business on corporation tax and capital gains tax, but of real concern is the very high input and material prices into business, particularly West Midlands' manufacturers."
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber president, Larry Coltman, said: "The emphasis on moving public sector jobs out of London is to be welcomed, particularly here in the West Midlands, but one must note that this will add to the recruitment difficulties of businesses."
West Midlands Business Council deputy chairman, Dr Sarindar Singh Sahota, also backed the moves on civil service jobs.
He said: "We need to know the details and when this will happen as the increase in civil service jobs in our region could boost our regional economy."
And, switching subject, he added: "Red tape is the bane of business and that is why any news that this problem is to be tackled is always welcome. More needs to be done so that business can get on with what it does best - creating prosperity for all."
David Burton, chairman of the Confederation of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, commented: " Streamlining inspections and audit of businesses and the consultation, by the Inland Revenue, on single accounting for small businesses is good news, but there is still much more that could be done, particularly around the plethora of goldplated employment legislation that continues to hit businesses."
EEF West Midlands chief executive, Ian Smith, said: "Business will be disappointed by certain elements of the Budget as it fails to fundamentally address many issues facing West Midlands manufacturers in today's climate.
"The Chancellor confirmed that inflation is rising, and our fear is that this will consequently cause a rise in interest rates.
"While we welcome the delay in fuel duty, the rise in oil prices will continue to affect margins in the long term."
Birmingham-based Ernst & Young tax partner Eric Kwiecinski said: "This is the 'have now pay later' Budget.
"The Chancellor has helped families and pensioners and buyers of lower price houses with long-overdue stamp duty cuts. However, in the long term, more taxes will be needed to balance the books.
Taxpayers can expect to pay more after the next Budget, perhaps through higher national insurance or VAT."
And, after all, what about the euro?
Small business campaigner Russell Luckock, of Birmingham pressworks firm AE Harris, noted: "The Chancellor was ruthlessly dismissive of the euro in a one sentence comment.
"This in effect kicks this subject into the long grass for a rock bottom minimum of seven years, more like ten.
"This at least will give companies the knowledge that the British pound will be used as the currency of the day for the forseeable future. It enables financial directors to plan ahead in respect of purchases and sales within the EU.
"Gordon Brown is obviously fully aware that there is no chance of getting any approval with the electorate at this point in time, and has therefore made the position of the Government crystal clear."
Ah, well something's clear then!