There were naturally several other “key points” in last month’s Budget, as Douglas Fraser explains; just as naturally the one drawing most media attention was the spin of rebranding the National Minimum Wage to National Living Wage and increasing it – while making reductions to some benefits.
BBC: Budget 2015 key points: At-a-glance summary
Natural too are the conflicting claims about whether people will be better (as per the government) or worse off (as maintained by opposition parties). Or Scottish Tories saying that the £9 minimum wage proposed for 2020 is more than the SNP’s £8.70 recommendation, and not saying the £7.20 proposed for 2016 is less than the £7.65 regarded as the minimum living wage in Scotland in 2014.
It gets more interesting when even the non-partisan IFS’s analysis contends that the Chancellor is plain wrong to argue the new minimum wage will compensate for the benefit cuts, its director Paul Johnson saying the cuts will be bigger for people in work than for those out of it, thus (contrarily to the world according to Mr Osborne) reducing the incentive for people to move into work.