Budgets ain’t what they used to be

There’s something a bit boring about Budgets these days. It is not that they are fiscally neutral, though that was the case this time. It is not that they are unremittingly gloomy though it was this time. It is more that George Osborne doesn’t really hide things. He says what’s changing and then it changes.

Half the fun of the old Budgets used to be working out where Ed Balls (both in his economic adviser days and as chief secretary) had hidden all the nasty things and the mad U-turns and the like. Or sometimes just the silly things – like telling the industry that annuities wouldn’t be reformed, but not putting the information in the journalists’ packs.  Just a wee oversight really. But all those wee oversights and the finding of them was part of the fun.

At least George calls a spade a spade, not that it is much use for anything apart from digging the hole deeper. Well unless the solution really lies in offering more 95 per cent loan to value mortgages.

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