Amidst all the commentary following the Budget, there’s a political issue that seems to have been missed, but one that shows crucially what keeps Cameron and Osborne awake at night.
Look at the beneficiaries of the budget measures. Older people, high-end savers, drivers, beer-drinkers (and apparently bingo-goers, prompting the Tories into a piece of cod populism that could turn into one of the biggest PR disasters in recent political history).
In other words, this is a Budget that appears to be targetted at bringing home the people who have been natural Tory voters – older people, people on fixed incomes, the allegedly-chained motorist – but who are perceived as at risk of supporting UKIP. I’ve written before about the economic underpinnings of the UKIP surge: it seems to me that this is a budget aimed firmly at them, a piece of Crosbyite reining-in of the faithful. For me, it shows that UKIP still has the Tories running scared.