Autumn Statement - Osbourne gets Tories off the ropes.
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George Osbourne stood in the Commons knowing the Tories needed a boost in the polls, and they needed it bad. For all the talk of crisis in the Labour party, most polls had them leading by 1 or 2 points. Osbourne knew this was the last chance to swing voters before the TV debates and with the Conservatives knowing they had to have more votes then they did in 2010 to win, he had to deliver.
His headline proposal was a Stamp Duty reform; the tax which you pay when purchasing a house. The idea is to make the tax more progressive, taxing the smaller houses less than the big ones. On the surface it’s not a policy that gets people out their seats but it’s going to get undecided voters in the working and middle classes who want to get on the housing ladder consider swinging to the Conservatives. In a way, this reform is the Tory-version of Labours proposed mansion tax, but it seems to have gone down well with voters as the Tories went from a point down to a point up over Labour after the proposal was announced according to YouGov polls.
The way the Tories have framed this reform it is isn’t viewed as aggressively Socialist as the Mansion Tax but still hopes to get working class support, and whether you see it as a giveaway budget or not, it may well be the boost they needed.
Lance has his own politics blog. For more from the world of politics, visit http://politicalstreet.wordpress.com/.