It is the day they’ve been waiting for – police, councils and health workers across Britain today found out from Chancellor George Osborne what their budgets will be for the next five years.
The Chancellor addressed security, not-so green energies and even the controversial ‘tampon tax’ in his Autumn Statement that sought to free up money for councils and encourage a nation of builders.
Despite the u-turns on cuts to tax credits and policing, the need to borrow £73.5bn this year alone shows the economy isn’t ‘out of the red and into the black’ just yet.
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He’s the master of the catchphrase: We’re all in this together, we are the builders, and of course, the lower-welfare, higher wage economy.
Nothing builds camaraderie like a good old-fashioned slogan and Osborne is top of the Tory class.
Regardless of the constant barrage of insults he faces, he is not afraid of throwing a (not-so) sly, finger-snapping barb in the direction of his opposition.
He twice referenced the state of a hypothetical Scottish Autumn Statement were they now independent, given an OBR-estimated decline in North Sea oil revenue of 94%, to raucous cheers throughout the House.
The man who would be king. You cannot help but admire the strut of Osborne as he seems to march his way next door into Number 10 in four years time.
Only time and Boris Johnson will tell, but for the time being, the future looks bright.
Speaker of the House refers to @GeorgeOsborne as "Prime Minister". A Freudian slip?
— Robbie Hurley (@RobbieJHurley) November 25, 2015
It would have been quite an experience to be a fly on the wall of John McDonnell’s brain when Osborne announced no further cuts to policing.
He had everyone duped for a little while, which made the announcement all the more emphatic.
At last, the police announcement: no further police cuts #spendingreview
— Robert Peston (@Peston) November 25, 2015
He gives the people what they want. Eight cans of Special Brew a week for all pensioners – that is economic genius.
Not to mention an onus on mental health, scrapping tax credit cuts and a boost in funding for UK Sport. Osborne is quickly becoming the man of the people.
That £3.35 a week rise is in pensions 8 cans of special brew. #excellent
— Alastair Cliffe (@AlastairCliffe) November 25, 2015
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Only when the docs are published will we know where Osborne is getting >£4bn to stage this massive climbdown on welfare cuts
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) November 25, 2015
Either George Osborne has been to Hogwarts since July and learnt how to create money out of thin air, or his £10.1billion budget surplus by 2020-2021 is looking increasingly unlikely.
John McDonnell’s little red book gag may have been slight overkill, but Osborne could be left looking red-faced if the numbers do not add up in five years.
— David Bates (@_DavidSBates) November 25, 2015
David Cameron explicitly asked Osborne and Boris Johnson to lower the intensity of their leadership jostling during the Tory party conference in October, yet the Chancellor ramped up the heat on Boris here, placing himself firmly in the driver’s seat to take the party helm.
This blatant self interest could be seriously detrimental to the British people.
BBCNewsnight: RT lewis_goodall: That U-turn was so big it was essentially a major traffic offence #AutumnStatement
— Tim Wirges (@AMC_Assistant) November 25, 2015
He had to back down, did he not? Faced with the sound and fury of Iain Duncan Smith, the Labour party, and a huge mass of public opinion, Osborne applied the handbrake to tax credit cuts.
He backed down over a plan he had vehemently defended until now. Could this be the mark of the man? He seemed frighteningly willing to jump from his own sinking ship.
That joke from Labour bench when Osborne says there are 2 reasons for the better economic outlook, Kevin Brennan shouts: "smoke & mirrors"
— Matt Dathan (@matt_dathan) November 25, 2015
Credit where it is due, Osborne really made the Tories roar this afternoon. Never have I heard so many whoops and Eton roars from the self-proclaimed ‘big government that does big things’.
But as the Shadow Chancellor pointed out, Osborne had once claimed we would be in a surplus by 2015 and we could be disappointed by his false promises again in 2020.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 25, 2015
He is not John Bercow. Arguably the star of the show, the Speaker of the House laid down the law like a school teacher in a rowdy classroom.
He vilified ‘downmarket’ shouting and called for one MP to ‘take up yoga’. The real shame is that he was not given more floor time to demonstrate his cutting wit. Bercow for PM, anyone?
Featured picture courtesy of The CBI, with thanks