Tuesday 10 March 2015

Budget 2015: The Final, Fateful Act of the Quad

"Given his penchant for political theatre, Osborne might offer something completely fresh, in a final bid to frame the political debate in the run-up to polling day"

Yes, they got that right, those shrewd Grauniad commentators.  Osborne will have been thinking about how to use this opportunity for at least four years, and we know he'll be trying for something dramatic.  At the very least a power-play, another of the 'rolling barrage' initiatives: and in truth what he really wants is an outright game-changer.   Something creative, unexpected, headline-grabbing, agenda-setting, initiative-grabbing, Balls-bothering, Mili-mithering, voter-pleasing  ... just up George's street, or so we are led to believe.

Of coure these things often don't come off: Gordon Brown was forever trying the same trick and he fell flat several times, and flat-on-his-face more than once.

And Osborne's Big Budget opportunity comes with a twist, namely the need to have it approved by Clegg + Alexander in one of those 'quad' meetings they have.  Had the LibDems been riding high(ish) this could have neutralised the potential quite substantially - why give an opponent a half-share in something clever?  But as things stand, the junior partner that is trailing so badly will be just so grateful for anything they can get: so they can probably be steered into something that will suit Osborne's purposes fairly well.  And he may not much mind them ending up on the same side of whatever devious dividing line he's hatching.  Those final meetings of the famous foursome could be interesting.

So - all eyes on you again, matey.   We're hard to please here at C@W, but shan't be slow to give credit - if it's due.   There's glory to be had if you can square the quad and wow us all. 



Jan said...

I would abolish National Insurance and incorporate it into income tax. This would both please the LibDems, be in accord with the Tory tax-cutting agenda and would help the poorest more than raising the personal allowance again as the very poorest don't pay income tax at the moment anyway.

The chances of this are I would say absolutely zero as it's a bit too "vanilla". Most people would think their tax had gone up and wouldn't realise that overall they were probably paying less (unless of course you were in the very top-paid people who would undoubtedly be stung for more).

BE said...

I can't claim to have any particular insight, but I recall that Ken Clarke rued not having pencilled in "rolling tax cuts" in the run-up to the 97 election.

George can't promise jam today, but what if he sets out spending and tax plans for the next, say, two years, which take a penny off income tax?

Steven_L said...

Give everyone under 45 the 'opportunity' to opt out of the state pension and receive a £10k cheque in the mail next Tuesday, paid for by QE.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Flat income tax; everybody pays 15%, with no pesky allowances, thresholds or dodges, with the same rate levied on income of any type from pay to divis to capital gains. Think how easy it would be to do your tax return.

Thrown in the abolition of DECC, the Scottish Office, The Northern Ireland Office, Culture Media and Sport, Communities and Local Government, DFiD and most of the 766 quangos we have in this country and you have a better place to live in. As a bonus just think of the wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Guardian and Common Purpose (which should be a proscribed organisation, by the way).

Suffragent said...

I think you’re a little confused Nick
Shrewd? Power play? outright game-changer. Something creative, unexpected, headline-grabbing, agenda-setting, initiative-grabbing, Balls-bothering, Mili-mithering, voter-pleasing ... just up George's street?
While in this picture he may look a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch, he’s no Sherlock.
He’s had four years to do something………..anything and what’s he done? I don’t think he’s been saving himself for a grand finale.

SL You barstuard, are you 44 by any chance. I'm just over your threshold and don't expect a sniff of a pay-out.

Jan/SB far too logical and fink of the poor accountants.

Curiously though. If he was to come out and say Ed Balls? are you seriously considering voting for that odious W"%ker who bankrupted the country in the first place? Just how many more people would vote for him.

Nick Drew said...

are you seriously considering voting for that odious W"%ker

funnily enough it looks as though Mrs Mili anticipates just such a development

who was it who said in C@W comments (more than once!) that they are hoping for a really dirty, drag-down slug-fest ?

(on the subject of odious w****rs, our good friend Raedwald describes Genius Osborne a "furtive onanist" ... drag 'em down!)