What makes a Budget an Emergency Budget? Is the precedent quite so pressing when you are your own predecessor?
The question of how to refer to the upcoming 8 July Budget will have posed an interesting rhetorical challenge to a Government that appears finally to have come to terms with its own surprising outright victory.
It is no longer THE Budget of 2015, as the Chancellor already delivered a storming security-focused pre-election spending speech designed to frame his party’s pitch to the electorate.
Nor can it truly sit within the 2010 model of an “emergency” post-election Budget, as that relied on the campaigning notion that the economy must be saved from the clutches of the previous administration – and this time around, the people in charge are mostly the same.
Mostly, but not all. For, of course, Budget 2015 Mark II will allow the Chancellor to slough off the remaining inconvenient bulk of Coalition in favour of a sleeker all-Tory policy body.
It will see Mr Osborne present his plans to implement a promised £12bn in welfare cuts, jumping through a tricky series of self-imposed restrictions including pledges not to raise certain taxes or end entitlements for some.
Labour’s high-profile PMQs attacks in the run-up to the speech have predicted an assault on tax credits, with the Prime Minister notably failing to deny Acting Leader Harriet Harman’s charges, but remaining defiant about his desire to see lower taxes, higher unemployment and less welfare.
With his colleague the Chancellor recently making his first appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions, his second outing of 2015 also represents a fresh opportunity to set the tone as the man at the helm – primed and poised for premiership when the time should come.
Bookended by the Autumn Statement, we should perhaps simply call it a Summer Budget. Doubtless of great economic import, it is nonetheless also a way of setting the fiscal tone.
We can expect more ideologically-inflected traps for future leaders, in the form of fresh constraints seeking a permanent surplus. We can expect a new round of austerity. But we can also begin to glimpse, in the themes and slogans of the Summer Budget, the shape of the next five years of Conservative rule.
DeHavilland will be providing comprehensive coverage of the Summer Budget on 8 July. Contact us to learn more about how our definitive political monitoring services can assist you.
Alternatively, click here to read the speculation we’ve collated so far about the possible contents of the Budget speech. An updated version will be published on Monday.
As Senior Political Analyst at DeHavilland, Anna Haswell leads on financial services policy, as well as covering media issues. In her capacity as Content Marketer, she is also responsible for DeHavilland's briefings and analysis output, working across teams to ensure relevant messages reach current and prospective clients alike. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and Goldsmiths, University of London.