Osborne has attempted to defend his position by noting that it is not a "tax" per se and that, in cash terms, pensioners are no worse off.
All well and good, maybe, if one only reads and focuses on his current defence/explanation. However, go back but one year and you will see that wee Georgie promised to increase Age Related Allowance by the RPI.
Compare and contrast the relevant sections of the 2011 Budget with the 2012 Budget:
"BUDGET 2011 page 35Could it be that wee Georgie was telling porkies last year?
1.128 As announced in the June Budget 2010, the Government has reviewed how the CPI can be used for the indexation of taxes and duties while protecting revenues. Consistent with this, the default indexation assumption for direct taxes will be the CPI from April 2012. To ensure employers and older people do not lose out, for the duration of this Parliament the annual increases in the employer NICs threshold, and the age related allowance and other thresholds for older people, will be over-indexed compared to the CPI, and will increase by the equivalent of the RPI. The Government will review the use of the CPI for indirect taxes once its ﬁscal consolidation plans have been implemented and the duty increases it inherited from the previous Government have come to an end.
BUDGET 2012 page 34
1.200 To support the goal of a single personal allowance for taxpayers regardless of age, and to spread the tax relief fairly across working age people and pensioners, from 6 April 2013 existing ARAs will be frozen at their 2012–13 levels (£10,500 for those born between 6 April 1938 and 5 April 1948, and £10,660 for those born before 6 April 1938) until they align with the personal allowance. From April 2013, ARAs will no longer be available, except to those born on or before 5 April 1948. The higher ARA will only be available to those born before 6 April 1938. These changes will simplify the system and reduce the number of pensioners in Self Assessment."