James Forsyth James Forsyth

A typical coalition Budget – designed to put the Tories back in power

Wednesday’s performance was an example of just how crucial George Osborne’s skill at horse-trading could be to the Conservatives’ future

George Osborne usually tells his aides to prepare for each Budget as if it were his last. This time round, the Chancellor and those around him needed no reminding of what is at stake. They knew that this statement had to boost the Tory election campaign and define the choice facing voters in May, otherwise it really will be the last Budget he gives.

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