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DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Budget is do-or-die moment for Tories


There was a time when a Budget was considered a moment of such paramount importance a chancellor could lose his job if he let on what might be in it.

In 1947, Labour‘s Hugh Dalton felt obliged to resign when he inadvertently fed a few titbits to a newspaper minutes before delivering his statement in the Commons.

The days of ‘purdah’ are long gone. What started with selective leaks to friendly journalists has become a torrent. Only a rabbit in the hat seems left for the occasion.

If briefings of recent days are to be believed, Jeremy Hunt will use tomorrow’s set-piece to lop 2p off personal taxes and maintain the 5p fuel duty cut.

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has landed the public with the highest tax burden in modern times. Mr Hunt on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has landed the public with the highest tax burden in modern times. Mr Hunt on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

The Conservatives under Rishi Sunak have plunged to a record low of 20 per cent. The Prime Minister delivering a speech outside Downing Street

The Conservatives under Rishi Sunak have plunged to a record low of 20 per cent. The Prime Minister delivering a speech outside Downing Street

This would not only provide blessed relief for hard-pressed families and businesses, it aims to remind them that the Tories are on their side and remain the party of aspiration, growth and wealth creation.

But will voters buy it? After all, it was the Chancellor himself who landed them with the highest tax burden in modern times.

A damning poll yesterday suggests not. The Conservatives under Rishi Sunak have plunged to a record low of 20 per cent – worse even than Liz Truss in the wake of her catastrophic ‘mini-Budget’.

That puts the party a daunting 27 points behind Labour and on course for a historic defeat at the next election.

But is it a surprise? The country slipped into recession last year, immigration is out of control and public services are creaking.

This Budget is nothing short of a do-or-die moment for the Conservatives.

If the party is to revive its fortunes, the least the Chancellor and PM must do is let people keep more of their own money.

The obvious way to pay for this is to facilitate growth, slash welfare payments which are so generous it reduces the incentive to work hard, slim down foreign aid and reduce the swollen Civil Service.

The Tories are drinking in the Last Chance Saloon. Unless the Budget is bold, the voters will turf them unceremoniously into the street and bolt the door behind them.

Our ignoble Lords

With noble Lords debating the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, the hyperbole is already beyond fever pitch.

The Archbishop of Canterbury led the linguistic arms race, likening the Government’s assertion that parliamentary sovereignty trumped international law to the Nazis – a grotesque comparison.

Unelected peers inflicted five defeats on the legislation, which was passed by the Commons in a bid to stop the small boats and wreck the traffickers’ business model.

Yet their hand-wringing Lordships were waffling just hours after a girl of seven drowned when a dinghy packed with migrants heading for the UK sank.

By trying to block the Bill, they are denying democracy and playing with people’s lives.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured) likened the Government to the Nazis

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured) likened the Government to the Nazis

Flops and robbers

The detection rates for burglary make truly depressing reading.

Over the past three years, police forces have failed to solve a single break-in in nearly half of all neighbourhoods. This is simply not good enough.

It’s bad enough so many intruders are getting away with it. But behind the bare statistics are countless victims whose homes have been violated and whose precious possessions have been stolen.

Two years ago, police chiefs announced an officer would attend every domestic burglary. Attending is all very well. But bringing the culprits to book would be better.

Over the past three years, police forces have failed to solve a single break-in in nearly half of all neighbourhoods (stock image)

Over the past three years, police forces have failed to solve a single break-in in nearly half of all neighbourhoods (stock image) 



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