A few years ago, budgets weren't really that interesting. The public knew they were coming, and that there was a good chance they'd have to pay more for cigarette, alcohol and petrol. Not much more, not much less.

But considering there's been a global economic crisis which some countries are still struggling to pull themselves out of, suddenly budgets have more significance.

And – in the case of the UK – throw in a general election in around five weeks or so, and it's the future of an entire government which is on the line!

This week on CTC, we'll look at Alistair Darling's latest (last?) UK budget, which sought to assure voters that the right tack had been taken to get the UK out of its troubles, and that stopping those measures and cutting back public spending would be the end of the recovery.

Some say it's more a case of it being the end of the Labour government, but you can make up your own mind. Expert analysis coming from Iain Begg at the London School of Economics.

Back to Dubai

This is one of my favourites stories, and it's finally starting to crank up again. 

Dubai World has got to find a way to deal with its debt, because any more stalling will just make things worse. Apparently the talks are ongoing, which doesn't really reassure anyone. You'd think they might have learnt their lesson by now!

And then there's Damas. It's a huge name in Middle East jewellery and three of its executives have been struck off, along with the entire board, for basically stealing money and gold from the company!

It seems extraordinary, but perhaps what's more extraordinary – or at least, more important – is that they got caught. Dubai needs to show there is some transparency after all the Dubai World dramas… this was, in a way, the best way to do that. Dan Nolan reports on this one from Dubai.

Twitter, twittering, tweeting, twitting…

Be kind, I'm still getting my head around the whole thing. But yes, Counting the Cost is now tweeting – through me! You can find us at @AJCountingCost or follow the link from the main CTC page. 

I thought I was very clever when I started "retweeting" yesterday but they now seem to have disappeared from my main page! So all tips gladly received!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source: Al Jazeera