How better to respond to your rivals smearing you as a Tory than by listing all the things you don’t like about George Osborne? Liz Kendall has mastered the art of subtlety this morning:
“Let’s start with a quiz. Which part of George Osborne’s budget last week did The Economist describe as “perhaps the daftest economic policy of the decade”?
Could it be Osborne’s con-trick on the living wage, which in reality is no such thing, or his claim that Britain is getting a pay rise, when low paid families and public sector workers are in fact getting a pay cut? You might have expected greater cynicism from media commentators about the Chancellor’s apparent conversion to the cause of tackling low pay. But it’s not that.
Perhaps it was Osborne’s confession that he has failed once again to keep his promises on the deficit, and will take one whole extra year to close the gap in our finances, despite all his rhetoric?
No. The answer is neither of the above.
It’s Osborne’s sop to the all-ready lucky inheritors of property. His inheritance tax cut, which will benefit fewer than one in 1000 families a year, but costs nearly £1billion of tax-payers’ cash by 2021.
As The Economist puts it, this announcement in the budget was the point at which “things took a turn for the barmy”.
You couldn’t make it up. A Chancellor who is happy to see those with the least income lose most, yet with the same stroke of his pen, gives those who are already fortunate in life another bung.”
Unfortunate that she chose one of more sensible and popular parts of the Budget for her differentiation strategy, but still. Ok Liz, we get it…