THE SUN SAYS With the Budget now done, what other ideas do the Tories have for tempting voters back?

Is 2p cut too little too late?

IN ordinary times Jeremy Hunt’s solid and thoughtful Budget, with its 2p tax ­giveaway, might have been acclaimed. But these are not ordinary times.

The Tories remain 20 points adrift in the polls — and if their MPs were hoping for a ­dramatic Nigel Lawson-style game-changer it didn’t materialise.

The Chancellor deserves praise for his National Insurance cut
The Chancellor deserves praise for his National Insurance cutCredit: i-Images

First, though, the good news.

The Chancellor deserves praise for his National Insurance cut, saving millions of workers hundreds of pounds a year.

His signal that this archaic jobs tax should eventually be scrapped entirely was very welcome.

There was a big win for many couples in the acknowledgement of the crazy unfairness of the income cutoff for child benefit . . . with a short-term fix announced and more to come.

Drivers will breathe a sigh of relief at the continued fuel duty freeze brought about once again, as Mr Hunt said, by The Sun’s Keep It Down campaign.

The huge investment in an IT revolution could one day yield vast improvements for NHS patients, staff and productivity, even if the track record of Governments and tech rollouts is grim.

Some now see life as furlough

And politically it is smart to nick Labour’s plan to end “non-dom” tax status for rich foreigners.

Not just for the ­billions it should raise but because Labour now needs another money-making ruse and is notoriously short on ideas.

But there was also bad news for millions, with Mr Hunt opting not to unfreeze income tax thresholds, which are set scandalously low. Our overall tax burden is STILL the highest since 1947.

There were three glaring omissions too.

Mr Hunt had precious little for OAPs, who do not benefit from the NI cut.

It was staggering not to dramatically increase the defence budget after all the warnings from top brass about Russia rearming for World War Three.

And although it is possible the Chancellor’s various inducements will tempt some of our ten million working-age adults not currently working back into jobs, many need more stick than carrot.

From 2010 the Tories prised huge numbers off the dole by making benefits less attractive than work. Where’s that corrective now for those who view life as an endless Covid furlough?

Grimly, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that level of idleness will persist, along with net migration around 315,000 a year — the sort of total that once caused outrage before it doubled.

The upside, at least, is the OBR saying we’re already out of recession and that inflation and interest rates will fall faster than they had thought.

Keir Starmer’s riposte to all this was forgettable — but he’s so far ahead in the polls he barely needed one.

With the pre-election Budget now done, what other ideas do the Tories have for tempting voters back?

Spring Budget at a glance

  • Fuel duty will be frozen and the 5p cut extended for a year
  • Alcohol duty will be frozen until February next year
  • National insurance was cut by an additional 2p
  • An extension of the Household Support Fund for the fifth time
  • Households on Universal Credit will get an extra year to repay emergency loans from the Government 
  • A new tax on vapes, which will cause prices to rise
  • A one-off new tax on fags to ensure they are more expensive than the electronic alternative
  • The high income child benefit charge was raised from £50,000 to £60,000

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