I’ve just been doing some work on the budget for a client and something occurred to me. The surprise 2% cut in income tax left George Osborne ashen faced and will definately be generating some positive headlines tommorrow but in the longer term he could just have made a serious blunder.

At the last election he was largely successful in discrediting the Howard / Letwin spending plans using the old “you can’t have your cake and eat it” argument. He has, unfortunately just proved himself wrong both raising spending and cutting tax.

Moreover the positive coverage he will undoubtably recieve from this budget will lay him open to the charge that in his most popular budget he was, in essence, doing what the tories had been telling him to do all along.

This said, if any doubts still lingered over his succession to the labour leadership, they are surely finished now. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was worth 5 – 8 points in the polls over the nest two weeks. What it will be worth in the longer term though could be a different matter altogether.