So Gideon (yes, that IS his real name) is delivering his 5th budget today. The ball’s up in air with this one as he doesn’t really have much cash to play with, but you can bet any decisions are more political than economic.

Economically, tobacco and alcohol will take a hit because let’s face it, they always do! I wonder if he’ll throw in a sneaky rise in prescription charges in England and Wales though? If there’s one thing the Tories hate, it’s a non-profit making NHS! Fuel is a tricky one because it’s a license to print money for the Exchequer, but it might be seen as a spanner in the works by SME’s who are running on thin margins as it is. Public sector spending will be slashed again and there will be no increase in benefits payments on any level. He’ll say local authorities need to control spending better, and that increasing benefits only encourages worklessness. So basically, the usual Tory war cries.

Politically, he won’t risk pissing off the retired voters, whose numbers could be the difference between wining and losing the 2015 election. So either pensions will remain the same, or there will be an increase. I doubt he’ll give further relief to the top tier earners though, because that will piss off everybody. Will he play to the masses by raising  the taxation threshold for the low paid? Yeah, that’s a good bet.

Whoever gains will see only a token gesture, because the cost of living is still running so high anyway. The Tories will be playing the political strategy, appealing to the “Hard working taxpayers”  and no doubt using that phrase ad nauseum. The Lib Dems will try to claim whatever they can as theirs, hoping that the electorate won’t see them as the silent partner, or remember all the promises they broke.

This one is all about scoring points, nothing more, nothing less. But then, aren’t they all?

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