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Cartoon: Our strategic growth

Cartoon_George_ Osborne_Growth_Budget_2012 © Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons

© Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons

The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his budget on 21st March. Overall, the IFS declared  it ‘fiscally neutral’ or as delivering as much in gift as was taken in turn.

This strategic position probably being unavoidable considering the chronic lack of growth in the national economy since the last election and the decisions made in the Chancellor’s Strategic Spending Review of 2010.

Arguments continue to rage about where fault  lies for the the lack of growth in the economy. New hashtags of political outrage have entered the language as a result of the cuts and freezes resulting from Osborne’s SRA and the budgets implementing it – #Grannytax (removal of OAP tax privilege), #Pietax (VAT on hot food). Clearly there are many more to come, an example being this morning’s announcement of a proposal for a minimum price per units of alcohol.

One of the more intriguing personal subtexts to the performance of the budget is the presumed ambition of the chancellor to inherit the PM’s job in due course. After describing the budget as ‘without economic significance’ Martin Wolf in the FT thought he saw this game well afoot. Happily for me it also matched  my own drawing of the event.

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