Budget 2015: Still No Game-Changer from Osborne


Well, that Budget was a bit of an anti-climax. There was some optimistic talk beforehand that George Osborne might produce some sort of game-changing policy that would transform the election campaign. In the end there was no fabled ‘rabbit in the hat’, as it is known in common political parlance.

Instead, you will now be filing your taxes online, you can earn a tiny bit more before the government starts thieving your income, and a pint of beer costs a penny less. (Incidentally, the Chancellor seems to take a penny off a pint every year, but since when has a pint in a pub cost a penny less? And who would care if it did?)

The ‘headline’ announcements made today are not going to win the Tories the election. The only conclusion must be that Osborne – who don’t forget is also a party political strategist as well as the man in charge of the nation’s finances – is waiting until the Tory manifesto is unveiled to make his big, open and comprehensive offer to the British people.

Hopefully, as was mooted in the weekend papers, this will come in the form of radical reform of the way inheritance tax in paid in this country. That was Osborne’s big promise in 2007, which he failed to keep. But there are a great deal of votes which can be won, and possibly a good number of UKIP votes, with a red line vow to reduce the impact of this pernicious death tax. Osborne’s game-changer didn’t come today. The Tories will hope he has one prepared during the short campaign.