With the election campaign beginning in two weeks, the Chancellor had to do five things in his budget speech.
First, stress that the UK is on the right economic track.
Second, make sure he remains the choice of British businesses who pay their way and pay their taxes.
Third, choose his giveaways carefully and make sure to be seen to benefit the lower paid.
Fourth, remember that home ownership is totemic in the British mindset.
And fifth, ensure that pensioners and older workers – who he knows are likely to vote – are looked after.
With a little help from a depressed oil price and low inflation, the budget today ticked all of these boxes. Whether it is enough to propel the Conservatives back into power will depend on how strongly the electorate buys each proposition.
Economic credibility on the right track?[raw]