The measures designed for a REMAIN outcome
Perhaps the most astute post budget observation was contained in this Tweet from the political academic Tim Bale.
Which voters are most likely to favour staying in the EU? Comfortable middle classes & young people. So who does best out of #Budget2016?
— Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale) March 16, 2016
Perhaps more than anybody Osborne’s career is very much tied up with REMAIN winning the referendum in three months time and who could blame him for using the platform of the budget to help the cause.
He devoted a section of his statement to echoing the warnings of the dangers of an LEAVE vote in what was one of the most politicised budgets that I can recall. He also announced measured on savings and other matters designed specifically for the younger generations who have largely been ignored by him in the past.
Tim Bale’s comment hits the nail on the head. With older people the most likely to want out Osborne needs to ensure that as many of those in the electorate who most support remain do actually turn out on June 23rd.
Given the important role that he’ll play in the coming months he also desperately needs the budget to help restore his reputation.
Others have described the sugar tax announcement as a dead cat move designed to divert attention from some of the figures that have not been so good.
I thought he did quite well.
Whether it’ll help his leadership ambitions it is too early to say.