Osborne made a start on deregulation, but there’s a long way to go

This was always going to be a rather modest budget. Having set out the Comprehensive Spending Review last year, the government had already decided its broad plan; we were never going to see much more than some minor tinkering.

Nevertheless, as a budget billed as a serious driver for growth, it is a disappointment. George Osborne seems to have a reasonable understanding of the problems that need tackling, but he seems shy of solutions.

Concerned about the regulatory burden on business and enterprise, the Chancellor announced that he would reduce the cost of compliance by £350m. But, even on his own figures, this is a tiny slice of the £90bn overall cost to companies. Cutting red tape by 0.4 percent is the tiniest baby step in the right direction, but it’s hardly going to supercharge the stuttering recovery.

Read the rest of the article on the Spectator CoffeeHouse blog.

Director General, IEA

Mark Littlewood was the IEA's Director General from 2009 to 2023, when he made a significant contribution to growing the institute's outreach and profile.

Mark also sits on the Board of Big Brother Watch, a non-profit organisation fighting for the protection of privacy and civil liberties in the UK.  Mark is recognised as a powerful, engaging and articulate spokesman for free markets. He is a much sought-after speaker at a range of events including university debates, industry conferences and public policy events.He also features as a regular guest on flagship political programmes such as BBC Question Time, Newsnight, Sky News and the Today Programme. He writes a regular column for The Times and features in many other print and broadcast media.