Major fiscal announcements roll around at a rate of knots. This will be the Chancellor’s third since the May 2015 election. Both the previous ones have seemed like triumphs on the day, but a political miscalculation on tax credit cuts in July, followed by a November Spending Review that needs to be revisited before it starts (the cuts only begin this April), leaves the Chancellor trying to avoid a hat trick of failures. As usual, the Budget is well trailed. So what should you look for tomorrow to get behind the well-rehearsed spin? Where will the spending cuts fall? Ignore the size and timing of the trailed ’50p in every £100? spending cuts. Watch instead where they fall to see how much political capital the Chancellor has in the bank. No matter how confident he feels, it’s unlikely he will touch the traditional ‘protected’ areas of health and schools. But will he feel he has the political capital to look for more out of the police? With a great flourish, he left this area pretty much unscathed in the Spending Review. With much less flourish, he also failed to get any in-year cuts from the Home Office when he launched […]

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