Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageAll my own work!PA/Stefan Rousseau

Summer has never truly arrived in Britain until we can enjoy those great traditional events of the season: Wimbledon, a major cricket test series, and an emergency post-election budget from George Osborne.

Back in June 2010, the new chancellor unveiled his first economic measures against the backdrop of a crisis in Greece. Five years later it must have been difficult to resist a Groundhog Day feeling.

At least this time Osborne had no need to consult with the Liberal Democrats before putting together his budget. It will of course be more difficult to blame other people if something goes wrong, but he’ll probably still use the record of the last Labour government as an excuse if things go awry.

A busy budget

The first Conservative budget was certainly not short of talking-points – a cynic might even say it included enough eye-catching and controversial measures to distract people from the problems we still face, five years after Osborne took office. In 2010, the chancellor predicted the structural deficit would have been dealt with by now. The fact that we still live in an era of emergency budgets is itself a striking testament to the coalition’s economic failure.

The main reason for that failure is not a lack of political will: Osborne had a plan – and he has stuck to it, even if he has had to change the timetable. The problem is that, back in 2010, he believed the forecasts which painted a picture of healthy economic growth for the whole 2010-15 period. In reality, the economic recovery which he inherited from Labour soon faltered, almost certainly because his initial measures struck at the confidence of business people and consumers alike.

Reading between the lines

There was no trace of apology in this budget speech. Despite his numerous personal qualities, Osborne does not strike the observer as an apologetic person. Even at the worst of times in the previous parliament, his speeches were perky and pugnacious. He is a political operator to his finger tips, and no commentator can resist reading his budget speeches for underlying messages.

On this occasion the messages were deliberately mixed. There was something unwelcome for everyone, but most people received enough good news to lift their spirits off the floor. The big exception, of course, will be those of working age who are dependent on welfare benefits to a considerable extent. The road to welfare reform is always strewn with injustices – and it will not be long before stories of unmerited hardship start to emerge.

But before the critics had begun to decry a budget that belies all David Cameron’s One Nation soundbites, along comes Osborne with a party trick, purloined from Labour – the introduction of the National Living Wage. imageIain Duncan Smith loves a magic trick.UK Parliament

At the other end of the income scale, the changes to inheritance tax have finally rewarded the patience of affluent Tory voters. Elsewhere, though, there are balancing measures against non-doms and even an increase in resources for HMRC, which suggests that Osborne might have decided to get serious about tax avoidance and evasion.

Overall, then, this budget will arouse plenty of discussion to keep economic commentators occupied until the Autumn Statement, when we will probably have another bag of surprises amid the predictable unpleasantness.

In 2010, the emergency budget looked positively generous compared to the Autumn Statement. We can only hope that, unlike five years ago, the economy continues to grow in the meantime. Perhaps the most ominous aspect of this budget speech was the relative optimism of the forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). They got it badly wrong last time and, if history repeats itself, even George Osborne might not be feeling so perky when summer turns to autumn.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/why-george-osbornes-first-solo-budget-isnt-quite-the-fresh-start-hed-hoped-44429

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Scott Morrison on Credlin

PETA CREDLIN: Thank you for your time tonight, PM I know you've got a lot on your plate. I'll get to the issue of bushfires in just a moment, but I can't let it go unremarked that with Australia Day...

Peta Credlin - avatar Peta Credlin

Scott Morrison interview with Ray Hadley

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.    HADLEY: Jeez you copped a hammering while I was away.   PRIME MINISTER: Goes with the job mate.    HADLEY: Well, yo...

Ray Hadley - avatar Ray Hadley

Immediate small business support for bushfire affected communities

In response to the devastating bushfires, the Morrison Government has today announced a comprehensive suite of measures to immediately support impacted small businesses.    This initial package ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Guide to Start E-Commerce Business

If you can read this, you have access to the internet, and since you have access to the internet, you must have thought about buying something from an e-store. Today, we live in a time very contrast...

News - avatar News

Tips To Buy Office Desks From Sydney

Desks are essential components to the makeup of any office. The right type of desk makes the workflow smoothly. The majority of the people look for desks that are comfortable to work on and need lit...

News Company - avatar News Company

2019 Hottest FinTech Startups Overview

Modern technology is experiencing rapid growth, so many industries expect a so-called revolution, and the financial world is no exception. Over the past ten years, people have witnessed the emergence ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

A Travel Guide for Vacations Overseas

There are two types of tourists. Of course, that's a sweeping generalization, and we could be talking about any possible part of traveling.  In this case, we're discussing those who stick to the ma...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Family Travel Handbook from Lonely Planet

Everything you need to know to take unforgettable trips with your children   Full of practical advice, ideas and inspiration for every type of family, Lonely Planet's The Family Travel Handbook ...

Adam Bennett - avatar Adam Bennett

3 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Holiday to Bali

A family holiday is always an exciting time, but it can often come with its fair share of challenges, especially when trying to keep every member of the family happy. Thankfully, the beautiful islan...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo