Matthew Sinclair is Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance.
George Osborne should be doing all he can to make things easier for ordinary taxpayers, who are particularly hard pressed at the moment. It looks like he will at least stall rises in taxation on driving to work or going on holiday, but those taxes should be coming down as Fuel Duty is wildly excessive and EU regulations coming in soon could mean flying is double taxed.
They also need to scrap gimmicks like the 50p tax rate that are designed to look like they are bashing the rich, but will actually lose money and result in ordinary people having to pay even more as a result. As well as lowering taxes, there is an exciting opportunity to simplify the tax system, so less time and money is wasted complying with the rules and taxpayers know exactly how much they're paying.
To make further spending cuts and ensure they aren't backtracking on necessary action to get the public finances in order, they should apply the same kind of fiscal discipline to those budgets that are still growing rapidly that we have seen in other areas. That would mean stopping big rises in some departments, like international development and the capital budget of DECC, and cancelling major new projects that aren't worth the money, like the high speed rail white elephant. There are opportunities for the Government to ease the burden on families if they really make that their priority.