Tomorrow George Osborne will deliver the final Budget of this Parliament, but the PR war over the coalition government's last set-piece event is already under way.
As with almost all Budgets, large chunks have already been trailed and leaked leaving observers wondering whether Osborne will stick to his promise of no more gimmicks or pull a rabbit out of the hat.
As social media takes its place in Britain's electoral landscape, Opinium has surveyed people's online responses to the Budget's coverage so far. The social media advantage is nip and tuck, with 21 per cent of the coverage broadly favourable to the Tories. Negative coverage was a whisker ahead, on 22 per cent, with another 20 per cent neutral.
The most covered story surrounding the Budget so far was a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which was scathing in its criticism of cuts to local government. Next up, the Tories will be pleased to see nine per cent of the coverage referred to tax giveaways.
It's expected Osborne will take further action to lift the income tax threshold to £10,800 and reform business rates. Some four per cent of social media coverage was devoted to election-winning tidbits like cuts in beer duty.
The 40 per cent tax threshold could also be raised from £41,865 to £50,000. On the revenue-raising side, it wouldn't be a surprise if Osborne announced another crackdown on tax avoidance and tax evasion.
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