One of the most significant things we have seen today is George Osborne’s announcement that Crossrail, Mersey Gateway, the big science project Diamond synchrotron and universal broadband would all go ahead. Osborne has decided that it is worth cutting deeper now in other areas to protect the kind of investments that will make Britain a more attractive place to do business down the line. As I said after the Budget, Osborne’s desire to protect this kind of capital spending is a key part of his plan – along with his reductions in corporation tax – to boost the private sector in Britain as the public sector is downsized.
The Crossrail announcement is also a big boost to Boris Johnson’s re-election bid. Being able to say that he has won a good deal for London from the Treasury, and that Ken could not have, will be a major part of his pitch to the electorate.