20 March 2014, The Tablet

Milk, honey and food banks

The 2014 Budget was certainly good news for George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His tone in the House of Commons on Wednesday was at times almost jubilant, as was his message. The British economy was recovering strongly from a deep recession, he said, and by a whole range of measurements was doing far better than almost everyone, including probably Mr Osborne himself, had expected. He mentioned all sorts of pessimistic forecasts that had been confounded by reality, suggesting that even government economists are not sure why the economy is behaving as well as it is.Mr Osborne was entitled to enjoy his good fortune, while putting a smile on the faces of millions of voters from bingo players to beer drinkers, particularly those who like a whisky chaser financed from a drawdown p
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