We're told that the Conservatives, freed from the limitations of Coalition government, can now pursue the policies they really believe in. It seems that, in some quarters, it also means they feel less need to even pretend they are concerned about fairness or compassion. In the last 24 hours, two stark examples of the thinking that lies behind a purely Conservative government have emerged.
The idea of a compulsory National Living Wage sounds very attractive, and will no doubt grab most of the budget headlines. But as ever, the devil is in the detail, and there will need to be some careful calculations before we can decide just what this means for people.
In 1904 Winston Churchill (then a Liberal MP) said that the Conservative Party stood for "cheap labour for millionaires". In his Autumn Statement today (3 Decemeber) the current Conservative Chancellor did nothing to dispel this image.
The contested details of the latest proposals from the UK Chancellor are only partly illustrative of the momentous economic challenge that lies behind and beyond the Budget, says Simon Barrow. Right now the entire system based at Westminster is failing adequately to comprehend and address, let alone tackle, the really big issues in which economics is a major factor.