Home Estate Planning The Budget shows signs that the election won’t be complete procession

The Budget shows signs that the election won’t be complete procession

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Well, it wasn’t overly dramatic, but it wasn’t bad either.

Reading between the lines in yesterday’s Budget however does give some cause for optimism that the election will not be a complete procession – and regardless whether you’re one of the three remaining people in Britain planning to vote Conservative or a dyed in the wool Labour apparatchik, a proper contest is vital for testing out the next party of government. 

For a brief moment yesterday, it appeared as if the Chancellor might be about to merge income tax and national insurance. Such a move has been on the wishlist of radical tax reformers for years; the sort of people who perhaps might not always be the best company at dinner parties but who look at a tax code that only increases in complexity and think about ways to make it easier to comply with, and indeed enforce.

Last night it was made pretty clear that such a move would likely make it into the Conservative manifesto, which suggests that the party has not completely given up on the sort of radicalism necessary for them to turn around a 20-point-plus poll deficit. 

With the chance of a May election now all but zero, the government will need to drum up a fair amount more like that if they’re to do so. For all the ‘retail politics’ offers that will be necessary – and they will be – there are a raft of people in this country who are ready to listen to someone being honest about the challenges the country is facing. Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, has won fans by refusing to drink  the ‘our NHS’ kool-aid.

It is harder for the government to take a similar approach to the myriad other third-rails of British politics, but not impossible. And it would have the added benefit of smoking out exactly what Labour might do instead. 

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