Surprise!

 

Ever quietly work yourself up into a state of excitement over a prospective purchase, receiving a gift or travelling somewhere only to have your warm anticipation blown away when it failed to meet your inflated or perhaps misguided expectations. Mmmm, me too; it was my first kiss actually but I digress. The General Election is thundering down the road toward us at a date in or before May. Consider these three anecdotal stories I've heard, just today, from friends.

The wife of a chum received a cheque from the revenue for £25. In the accompanying letter she was told that she would receive the balance of the £170 of her rebate at the end of the tax year. That may of course be a cock up, a reflection of the coffers being empty or something else.

I said to an insolvency friend today, "You must be rushed off your feet at the moment." " Not really," he replied, "The banks are keeping as many firms going as possible, "until the end of the tax year."" Note, HMG owns big stakes in RBS and Lloyds.

Another friend told me how he had bought a commercial facility from a bank. The bank however, insisted that as part of the purchase arrangement he rent it from them and that the sale didn't complete, "until the end of the tax year." That obviously suits my friend and I guess the bank who won't need to write down the probable loss on the property until after this tax year. 

So what? It's always dangerous to make assumptions but if you were George Osborne and arrived on your first day at the Treasury after the election, mad eager keen to play with all the toys in your new sandpit, it could be ever so slightly disappointing if you discovered the toys weren't quite what you expected. 

If the revenue has a big outflow of funds after April, if unstable firms are finally given a headshot after April and if the banks suddenly start doing the commercial property write downs that have so far been avoided during the financial crisis then the Tories could be on the receiving end of the biggest financial hospital pass in history. They have probably worked out that things are worse than Labour will admit to before an election but the surprise will come when they see the scale of the mess.

This what I found when I searched for George's CV,

"Career 1994: Conservative research department 1994-97: special adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture 1997-2001: speechwriter and political adviser to William Hague 2001: became MP for Tatton 2004: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2005: Shadow Chancellor"

No, I can't spot the bits that suggest any trace of experience, knowledge or skill sets that suggest his suitability as Chancellor. Let's hope his hidden talents rise to the surface when the moment arrives or we'll all be up the creek and I'm not seeing any paddles on sale. Still, none of the current shower of muppets have any aptitude for running the country; I wouldn't trust any to run a bath. How bad could it get? Oh dear..........