Previewing the 2015 Budget almost exactly twelve months ago, we wrote:
What now for the Chancellor as he starts to prepare for the Budget on March 18th?
On the one hand, the UK is growing faster and recovering better than any other major economy. On the other, there are worrying clouds on the horizon. The victory of the left-wing, anti-austerity party, Syriza, in the Greek elections has created more confusion in European economies already threatened by deflation and about to embark on a massive quantitative easing programme. Some of the latest data coming out of the US is not encouraging…
Just over four months ago, George Osborne delivered his second Budget of 2015, following the Conservative Party’s outright victory in the May general election. At that moment, the view from 11, Downing Street must have looked remarkably pleasant. Osborne’s handling of the economy was widely credited with playing a large – if not pivotal – part in the election victory. Boris Johnson and Theresa May, the Chancellor’s two main rivals in the race to succeed David Cameron, were both listing badly – albeit they hadn’t quite run aground.