Set against the twin backcloths of an impending EU referendum on 23rd June and slightly
disappointing UK economic data, George Osborne’s Spring Budget was always likely to be a
relatively muted affair. This, combined with a palpable sigh of relief from tax advisers, companies
and the public alike (after the pre-Budget hiatus surrounding fears of yet further potential
substantive pension reforms fell away), seems to have taken some of the heat out of the whole
Budget debate. Notwithstanding this, the Chancellor did manage to produce the odd surprise –
and he maintained his oft-repeated goal of a budget surplus by 2019/20.