Putting up the National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, of whom, as Zoe Williams informs us, 91% "are earning £20,000 or less" (Plausible, sober, and yet divorced from reality,09/03/17) is hardly the action of a chancellor who "has been brave", as your editorial on the Spring Budget suggests (The chancellor provides political theatre - but is it all an act? 09/03/17). Going after the companies "who use self-employment as a way of dodging national insurance", not to mention their responsibilities regarding sickness and holiday pay, should have been Hammond`s first, rather than "next step". It seems, however, that would be too much to expect from an increasingly duplicitous Tory government, which refuses to deal with the financial crises in the National Health and care systems, even when blessed with unexpected tax windfalls amounting to billions.
It is blatantly obvious, to the Guardian`s readers if not all of its writers, that May and her team have no intention of governing in the way announced on the steps of 10 Downing Street last July, and that many of the "just about managing" will have to continue to do just that, albeit reliant on scant government subsidies. An Opposition leader who "lambasted the chancellor", and whose post-Budget speech criticised the Tories for their "utter complacency", should be praised for his stance against inequality, rather than the recipient of snide remarks (Corbyn attacks complacency as services suffer, 09/03/17).
Rather than looking "at the benches opposite", perhaps Hammond is more aware of the lack of "pressure to defend himself for extending austerity", refusing to tax the rich proportionally, and for his "appalling priorities", in the nation`s leading centre-left newspaper (Hammond was swaggering in the ring alone, 09/03/17)!
Your editorial is absolutely correct to say that there are "habits, courtesies and unwritten codes of decency and honour" which should govern politicians` behaviour, but wrong to suggest that there is "something distasteful" about George Osborne "cashing in" on his time as chancellor, whilst remaining an MP (Printed pledges and unwritten protocols both matter in politics,10/03/17). It is utterly disgraceful, totally reprehensible, and completely unacceptable! He clearly feels no guilt about the horrendous suffering his unnecessary austerity policies have caused, otherwise he would have resigned.
What a shame the British press don`t see the need for a hatchet-job on the former chancellor, yet continue to lambast Corbyn, a decent politician fighting against the inequality which Osborne both espouses and epitomises!