A short-term Budget to shrink the state and help the rich
George Osborne’s speech today was a pre-election budget, with a number of short-term give-aways clearly aimed at the better off, rather than seeking to lift the living standards of the many.
It’s a choice that will be paid for by further years of austerity, public services brought to near collapse, public sector pay cuts and a welfare cap that bites into the safety net that any of us might need.
There was nothing in the Chancellor’s announcement for the young, who continue to face the worst job market in decades and unaffordable housing.
Nor was there any relief for low and middle earners who, who after years of falling living standards have no spare cash to take advantage of the help for savers and who now face year on year cuts in working family benefits as the welfare cap bites.
The best news for the long term health of the economy is the genuine help for manufacturing, but it was the exception in this highly political short-term budget that continued the Chancellor’s project to shrink the state and help the rich.