Something tells me this Budget will showcase Osborne’s love of political trap-setting for his opponents. He finds the sport irresistible.
— Stewart Wood (@StewartWood) March 18, 2012
Will traps be sets for The Eds, Nick and the unions?
At the weekend Ed Miliband’s top adviser and the man who played a key part in his leadership victory, Stewart (now Lord) Wood made the above observation about today’s budget.
And when Stewart talks about traps being set he knows what he’s talking about. For six years he was one of Gordon Brown top SPAD’s at the treasury and then transferred with him to Number 10 when Tony Blair stepped down.
In many ways, George Osborne, is very like Brown. The budget is about much more than raising taxes or setting the direction for the economy. A key purpose for both men is political and my guess is that we’ll see that by the spade-full today.
He’ll want to create lots of tricky obstacles for those he believes stand in the way of a Tory majority in 2015. That, of course, includes Labour but it also includes his Lib Dems partners in the coalition as well. The blues need to make serious inroads into the yellow seat base to have any hopes of forming a government on their own.
I wonder whether, as so often happened after Gordon Brown budgets, the chancellor will later be judged to have been too clever by half.