28 October 2015


Even The Times is putting the boot in:
Osborne could have chosen to introduce the cuts only for new claimants, thus avoiding the horror of families opening letters just before Christmas that tell them they will lose around £1,300. He could have twigged that a sum this large would mean that the adulation he received for his clever summer budget wouldn’t last forever. He could have listened to worried backbenchers, rather than sending his henchmen to bellow down the phone at them when, exasperated, they voiced concern in the press.
He could have put the cuts into primary legislation, where they belong, rather than in a statutory instrument, a lesser form of legislation that the Hansard Society believes is being increasingly abused by governments keen to avoid proper scrutiny. And he could, at a number of stages in this long row, have shown some humility by saying he wants policies to work for the hardworking people that the Conservatives claim to represent, and that he would tweak his original design. Though he said on Monday that he was listening to those who were worried, he appeared to snarl into the camera as he said it, suggesting a man whose pride had been stung, not someone humbled.
It is difficult even for those who support the chancellor’s ideal of a “lower welfare, higher wage” economy to feel much sympathy for where he has ended up. He thought he was being wise, which is always the sign he is being a fool. This latest row confirms that the “omnishambles” budget of 2012 was not just one dropped stitch, but part of a pattern: a complacent chancellor assumes that everything is fine with a controversial policy until its flaws are so obvious that even Geoffrey Boycott’s mother could have pinpointed them with a stick of rhubarb.
Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow ...

No comments: