Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Expect the unexpected

Today is budget day - expect the unexpected! Much of what will be in the budget has already been trailed in the media, but there will most likely be a rabbit of some sort that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will pull out of the hat. There is an election next year - indeed there are elections this year too. There will be the waving of order papers and cheering from the coalition back benches.

I will not and cannot speculate on what the rabbit will be. It will be some kind of give-away that will please the bulk of middle Britain and appease disgruntled Tory backbenchers.

There will be lots of talking about how solid the recovery is and what kind of recovery. Unemployment is tumbling and growth is strong - and there are more clear skies. Spring is bursting out all over. People will begin to feel better, and the Scots are more likely than not to vote to stay as part of the United Kingdom. That will make people feel better - won't it?

The coalition - or at least Cameron, Clegg and Osborne - are making plans for life after the election. The Guardian newspaper will no doubt once again find some reason to urge its readers to vote Liberal Democrat - oh yes, I think it will. They will put it together in some neatly considered editorial all about how 'on balance' - nice phrase, neat phrase, useful phrase - the coalition has been a success.  There has been no change of substance in the way we elect our representatives - hardly mentioned now by the Liberal Democrats, neatly forgotten - and no reform of the House of Lords. So we meander on as we did before.

Postscript

So what was the unexpected? It was the fundamental changes in the rules governing what you can and can't do with pension pots.

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