Budget 2016: Overview

Following PMQs on Wednesday George Osborne took to the dispatch box and delivered his second budget since the general election. After years of talking about what he was going to do if the Tories were governing without the Lib Dems the Chancellor stood up in the House of Commons to continue his lie that the Conservatives are the party of working people and that the Tories are seeking to make Britain into a fairer society. These pieces will take an in-depth look at the Budget and endeavour to breakdown what it all means, both financially and politically.

osborne budget EPA
What has Gideon got for us this time? (EPA)
I’ve written summary pieces on the key aspects of the Budget giving my breakdown of what the Chancellor has said (and not said). Feel free to check them out below:
Tax
Infrastructure
Sugar Levy
Education
Welfare
In terms of the state of the economy the Chancellor wanted to reassure everyone that he was definitely not bad at his job and that the economy was doing wonderfully under his stewardship. It is for these reasons that Osborne revised down the growth forecasts for the next four years. I’m sure that to Osborne, the government’s propagandist in chief, revising down growth figures for the UK is all part of his ‘long term economic plan’; it’s worth pointing out, however, that growth is still expected to be faster than all other Western economies. This is obviously only a forecast and therefore doesn’t prove anything but we shall see whether Osborne’s attempts to manage the economy are successful.
In terms of his own targets for debt as a share of GDP, those were missed, which is both angering and hilarious given how much Osborne speaks about ‘bringing the debt down’. The Chancellor still maintained that there would be an overall budget surplus by 2020 which would seem to indicate two possibilities: that the Chancellor thinks growth will pick up and thus tax revenues would increase, or that he will keep cutting back public expenditure.
These harsh realities illustrate that, by his own standards Osborne has failed as a Chancellor. The economy is as fragile as it was in 2010, people’s standard of living has declined, people’s wages have been stagnant for years, and the cuts imposed by the Tories are no longer seen as necessary. The Tories’ arrogance about the disarray in the Labour Party has given them a false sense of security and this Budget has been a massive political cock-up.
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