George Osborne is under fire from all sides this morning. He can expect more of the same until the Budget on March 20, it is going to be a very long six weeks for the Chancellor.
One usually loyal Tory MP raged to Guido yesterday about the new social care plans paid for by breaking the inheritance tax promise: “This is a ridiculous, socialist idea. God know what they are doing… We haven’t even begun to address to the problems facing our economy and we’re going to create another NHS – and this from a Conservative government.”
Lord Forsyth, once sympathetic to the Chancellor, describes yesterday’s Tory death tax as “very disappointing”, accusing him of breaking promises and admitting “it’s hard to see how this squares with the Prime Minister’s declared intention to support the striving classes”. David Davis goes further, seeing the move as “dismaying” and noting the irony of him abandoning his flagship policy for a Gordon Brown stealth tax. Douglas Carswell’s continuing comparisons of Osborne and the Prime Mentalist still hurt.
The commentariat is just as damning. Stephen Glover of the Mail attacks it as “a betrayal of Tory values that shatters the hopes of ordinary families”, Peter Hoskin at ConHome notes that he is becoming “a locus of Tory discontent”. It isn’t just the death tax, Jeremy Warner says no one knows what is going on with the economy, Rachel Sylvester warns Osborne is in real need of a trump card.
It is worth remembering the Afriyie plotters hinted they would go for Osborne first…