Everyone knows that George Osborne designed the Budget to help repulse the UKIP threat to older once-Tory voters, especially working-class ones. What is more, it succeeded. Recent polls by ComRes, YouGov and Populus have seen Labour’s lead cut.
All hail the political genius of the Chancellor.
Except that it is not so.
The brilliant Leo Barasi points out [...]
Ed Balls coined a new euphemism for death in his interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. He was asked about the reform of defined contribution pensions in the Budget:
This is a very big and radical reform so it is important that we look hard to see what it is actually going [...]
It is not as if the response to the Budget is so very difficult.
All Ed Miliband had to do was to remember one of Matthew Parris’s parliamentary sketches of the early Blair:
He tweaked this, prodded that, inspected the teeth of a clause or two – and pronounced that it did not pass muster. It was all [...]
Ed Balls was on The Andrew Marr Show this morning. He had a nice line about learning from experience, trying to turn his service in Gordon Brown’s government to his advantage:
I’ve made mistakes as well. We should have been tougher on regulating the banks when George Osborne kept telling me I was being too tough. [...]
George Osborne did the tour of the newsrooms today, announcing that he is a fifth of the way to finding the £11.5 billion worth of savings he is looking for in the upcoming spending review – including the last-minute cuts to departments announced on the eve of the Budget in March.
No good will come of it. That was a desperate Budget. A cut in employers’ National Insurance contributions for small companies, worth up to £2,000 a year for each employer (but not the employers of nannies). Paid for by some tax-that-isn’t-a-tax on the second state pension in 2016.
A cut in beer duty and a freeze [...]
Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, adopted quite a good tone of welcoming many of the things in the Budget in this BBC News discussion this afternoon.
With the Chancellor’s Budget almost upon us, many businesses and indeed individuals across the country are speculating about what George Osborne will announce and how this will directly impact upon them.
It’s the traditions that make the Budget interesting. But today’s won’t be as traditional as you’d hope.
The Chancellor has a chance to help the millions hit by soaring home energy and car costs in next week’s Budget. Where have the increases hit hardest?
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