If it was an election Budget, it was presumably crafted with a view to winning some votes, most blatantly those of pensioners, first-time homebuyers and parents.
From Gordon Brown's triumphant behaviour at the end of his Budget speech on Wednesday - his final flourish was to promise pensioners a £200 bung this year to help with their council tax and free bus passes in 2006 - you might have thought he had well and truly trumped the Opposition.
Well, he didn't. Mike Brewer at the Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out yesterday that the Conservative proposal to halve council tax - permanently - for household where everyone is 65 or over is far more valuable than Chancellor Brown's £200 for one year only.
As to bus passes, well many kindly local councils provide them already. And many pensioners never go by bus.
The Lib Dems' promise to scrap council tax and replace it with a local income tax is harder to quantify. Each council will set its own tax rate. But since few pensioners are in the 40 per cent tax bracket, most would be better off.
If the famous grey vote is to be swayed by cash promises, the Conservatives should win it. Anyway pensioners who want Mr Brown's £200 get it without voting for him. It will be in the Finance Act, signed sealed and law regardless of who wins the election.
Then there is stamp duty, or the lack of it on homes costing less than £120,000. Very nice for first-time buyers who pay an average of £138,000 - and appreciably less almost anywhere outside London. The Chancellor is saving them up to £600.
So he thinks, no doubt. But who gets the £600?
It cannot take long for Mr Brown's bounty to feed through into house prices. Within a month or two the winners will be the sellers of places worth not quite £120,000 - not first-time buyers. Never mind. Stamp duty starting at £60,000 had become a folly.
The parents may be another matter. Plainly, tax credits aimed squarely at them are worth more than all-round tax cuts from a Conservative Government. On top of that, parents must welcome Mr Brown's promise of £9 billion to smarten up primary schools. Maybe those are votes he really will win.
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One oddity. When they get to school, from 2006 all children will be subjected to " enterprise education" in a drive to "promote young British entrepreneurial talent". That was in the Budget speech. Mr Brown has said that sort of thing before, but never, that I have noticed, explained what on earth he thinks it means.
But now he has set a date for it - in nine-and-a-half months' time.
Somebody has got to teach vast numbers of teachers "entrepreneurship" in a hurry. Having been taught, those who grasp what it is all about will presumably take the first opportunity to give up teaching and be entrepreneurs. "Enterprise" will be taught by those who prefer to teach.
It will never happen. Nothing is gained by teaching things that cannot be taught --nor by pretending otherwise in Budget speeches.