David Cameron won the General Election, but it is his Chancellor who has provided some of the most memorable moments since Friday 8th May. Osborne’s style has shifted, too, becoming even more bluntly political. You may disapprove of his changing fiscal focus, but there’s no denying that the announcement of a National Living Wage in the July Budget made a lot of people sit up and listen.
That is a fact recognised by our readers in their voting for Policy of the Year – 30 per cent picked out the NLW as their preferred winner. It was, though, a close-fought thing: Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit came a close second on 28.5 per cent. In third place was the Northern Powerhouse (another child of the Chancellor) on 20 per cent, and Jeremy Hunt’s valiantly defended seven-day NHS came fourth on 16 per cent.
Of course, you can’t divorce a policy from its architect: the result is a symptom of the growing power and influence Osborne wields. His ambition to become more than Chancellor is clear, and his hand in moulding this Government is always evident. Before too long we will find out whether his time at the Treasury is to be remembered as a stepping-stone to the top job or the peak of his career.