Today elected representatives take the tough decisions about public finances behind closed doors. In doing so, democratic politicians rely on the advice of financial bureaucrats, who, often, cater to the political needs of the elected government. Politicians rarely ask voters what they think of budget options. They are no better at explaining the reasons for a budget. Explanations are usually no more than vacuous phrases, such as “jobs and growth” or “on the move”. They never explain the difficult trade-offs that go into a budget nor their overall financial reasoning.