A nice steady-as-she-goes budget with no real surprises. It fits the Tory narrative (and the Lib Dem one, I suppose) of a well-managed economy. The UK grew 2.6% in 2014, faster than any other advanced economy, there is record employment in the UK, with jobless rate to fall to 5.3% this year, trade deficit figures “the best for 15 years” and living standards “higher” than in May 2010, according to OBR data, with households better off by an average of £900 in last five years. Who would have thought, compared to ‘the mess’ the coalition inherited when they came to power, that the UK economy would look so rosy?
So, a few little tax giveaways, including the raising of income tax thresholds and, despite the fall in oil prices, a freeze on fuel duty. Richer pensioners, global multi-national companies and bankers are being squeezed but the Tories know that these groups fear a Labour government would do worse.
Osbourne must be very pleased with himself. Labour won’t be able to lay a glove on him for economic mismanagement. When the polls are close and a voter is in the booth about to place an ‘x’ in a box, the economy » Continue Reading.