Osborne makes unusual commitment to budget surplus

Osborne pictured delivering his keynote speech on the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Credit: PA

Chancellor George Osborne's clear message today is revolutionary: a surplus in good times as an insurance against bad times.

In 25 years of covering politics, I have never heard a senior politician make an out-and-out commitment to running budget surpluses.

He is intending to fight the next election squarely on the public finances.


Osborne's budget surplus pledge

The Chancellor has raised the possibility of tax cuts by vowing to keep cutting public spending to create a budget surplus in the next parliament. He also announced the long-term unemployed face earning their benefits through unpaid community work.