After a dreadful budget we should be grateful for small mercies. But one large one is that his tenure over the last 2 years has shot just about every fox in the right-wing locker. Cutting tap at the top would benefit the whole country because the benefits would trickle down to the rest of the population in higher productivity and growth.
But the super-rich, the 1% getting over £3,000 a week, are mainly the non-doms and internationally mobile who largely spend their money on hugely expensive properties, yachts, helicopters, bling, overseas specualtion and widespread tax avoidance; rarely do they spend anything on factory incestment or job creation. Or, it is said , the rich increase productivity and growth, so they must be kept sweet. But in the last 2 years directors of FTSE-100 companies have been kept very sweet with salary hikes of an average 49%, yet productivity and growth has stagnated or fallen.
Then Osborn and his ilk insisted that the public sector was crowding out the private sector, so it should be cut back to enable the private sector to expand to fill the gap. The public sector has certainly been cut back with a vengeance, with over a quarter million jobs lost, but the gap has been nowhere near filled by the private sector, and what job increases there have been created have been largely part-time or temporary.
Then we were told that by cutting tax on businesses and top executives, the new incentives would unleash a new spurt of growth. In fact growth has faded and there is still a risk (though less than it was) of a double-dip recession.