See, it’s a bit clever, what the Conservative party did in the run up to the election. No sooner had Mr C asked Her Maj to form a majority government than reports of industry-wide wage rises began to filter out. On the back of that, media informed us that people had more disposable income.
Yes, the feelgood factor was on its way back to the UK. Riding at the head of that tide were Messrs. Cameron and Osborne in a scene akin to “I’m Flying!” from Titanic. Maybe not, but I can’t help imagining them that way.
But hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Is the turnaround of our nation’s fortunes solely the result of the Conservatives sweeping allcomers (in England and Wales) aside? Or was that news bubbling under the surface, waiting for the spin doctors to work their magic?
We’ll never know for sure. Election results left Labour and Lib Dem spin doctors redundant; the Tories no longer needed theirs. Majority in The House, three of their four main opposition leaders tendering their notices and the Treasury committee room was all blue again.
So, why do we need an ’emergency’, or ‘summer’, budget?
In March, the budget was the culmination of the ideas that the coalition set out to achieve five years ago. As many governments before have done, and many will hereafter, it’s a vote-winner. For the party in power, that last pre-election budget is the last real chance to show the electorate that you care.
What little influence the Lib Dems had during the coalition did prevent the Tories from steamrollering proceedings. This new ‘summer’ budget is Chancellor Osborne’s first representing the party in power. Moreover, it’s the first Conservative budget in almost two decades.
How much of or how far into their manifesto pledges Osborne plunges today is keeping commentators on the edge of their seats. We’re pretty sure that he’ll announce the rise of income tax allowance. The amounts will vary, depending upon your earnings bracket. The tangible uptick in the amount we’re allowed to earn before tax is likely to kick in next Spring.
There’s a strong feeling that, whatever the Chancellor gives with one hand, he’ll take away with another. What’s uncertain is where the second hand will be extracting the money from.
With austerity central (in ethos, if not in name) to the Conservative’s outlook on the ‘long term vision for the economy’, cuts will be the order of the day.
The net effect of the rise in allowances we’re expecting? Conservative, to say the least. Don’t go planning an extra holiday next year on the proceeds.