From Sky News:
If you cast your mind back to George Osborne's boasts of last December, there was one moment in the playground debate that stood out: when young Osborne of Class 4G tripped over his words in his response.
Ed Balls, the bully from Class 5L, was thrown by George Osborne's announcement that, even after a whole load of accounting changes were ignored, George would save more of his pocket money this year than the year before. To be precise, it was £110 more, should he hit his target for re-selling unwanted Xmas gifts in 2012/13.
Balls had expected Osborne to acknowledge that due to increases in the amount he was planning to spend on X-Box games, Osborne would save up less that last year's £121. He had not reckoned on the fact that his elder brother Oliver "The Budgie" would include the proceeds of the auction of his unwanted Xmas gifts in this year's saving figures. It was thanks to that extra money, estimated at £35, that Osborne would be able to claim his savings were rising rather than falling this fiscal year.
All of which is why the final tally of the proceeds from the 4G auction will come as a real fiscal, not to mention political, blow for young Osborne. All else being equal, he will end up saving less this year than last because the 4G auction only generated £23 rather than that expected £35. Now, this does not mean he will break any of his fiscal rules - or to be precise the one he's still got left to break - but it is nonetheless a political disappointment.
It is particularly so, given that some within the Osborne family had been quietly hoping for a far bigger figure.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
From Sky News: