Budget 2014: Osborne's challenge to UKIP

Two men looking at the River Thames

"Is there a rabbit in there?" the media shouted at the chancellor as he held up his red budget box outside No 11 Downing Street.

There was. Yet, despite an awful lot of trying no-one guessed George Osborne's secret - a plan to radically reform savings and pensions which he sees as the most significant announcement he's made - other, that is, than his plan for austerity.

Those who will benefit most are older and have some money to put aside.

They're people who've seen their savings eroded by historically low interest rates and see little prospect of that changing. Many will be 40p tax rate payers who've gained least from the series of increases to the personal tax allowance.

A group you might think that sounds very like the kind of people who've drifted away from the Conservative Party.

When I suggested to one senior Tory that the plan was a laser guided electoral missile aimed at Nigel Farage's potential supporters, he replied that might just be a happy by-product of a reform that would affect many millions of people.

What came as no surprise today was the economic news - good as well as bad.

The economy is recovering much faster than expected BUT many still aren't feeling it AND Britain's borrowing and debt is still stubbornly high and years away from being dealt with.

Nothing George Osborne said today is likely to shift those fundamental facts.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

UKIP - dealing with the devil

Nigel Farage says he would do a deal with the devil and support either Cameron or Miliband if it meant an in/out EU referendum.

Read full article

More on This Story

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world?

    Think you’re a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s Geoguessr

Programmes

  • Suspension bridge connecting mountain peaksThe Travel Show Watch

    Must-see global events including walking the first suspension bridge to connect mountain peaks

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.