On the money with Gavin Hinks

Recent reports may have told us that the Tories are out in front in the race
for Number 10, but that’s not necessarily the case when comes to the house next

Mischievously, Accountancy Age last week polled our readers on who
they would prefer to be chancellor after the election.

At first the result went as you might expect. George Osborne out in front,
Vince Cable in second but lagging behind, and then Alistair Darling absolutely

Then things changed. Vince Cable, the man who emerged as the star of the
credit crunch, took the top spot, forcing Osborne into second place someway
ahead of a gaining Alistair Darling.

The Tories may have the lead in the opinion polls but their man hoping for
the chancellor’s job did not have the backing of our readers. Why? Sadly, we
didn’t ask the readers so, here’s some possible explanations.

The likelihood of a hung parliament with the Lib Dems holding the balance of
power, has made placing Cable in government a reality, for some of our readers.
The thinking goes that the Lib Dem’s might ask for the chancellor’s job in
return for backing the largest party.

But the Treasury is a big ask and the Lib Dems might have to settle for a
lower ranking department.

Some of our readers might also just prefer Cable. He’s become a star and his
currency remains high despite his cock-up at the party conference over the
mansion tax.

But my favoured answer is that Osborne miscalculated in his own conference
speech when he laid it on the line about severe spending cuts. Accountants
working in a recession might be wary of a chancellor boasting of his ability to
take an axe to spending but providing little information on the timing.

The only other explanation is that our readers are hoping for a Lib Dem win –
but accountants have never been accused of being dreamers.

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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