With both the granny tax and the pie tax looking like massive own goals, there surely had to be a sensible political motive behind George Osborne's Budget. After two days of head-scratching, and following the announcement of minimum prices for alcohol, I think I've worked it out: it's all a clever bid to rid the Lib-Dems from the West Country.
While much of the focus on charging VAT on hot food has focused on the fact it wiped millions off Greggs' share price, down in the South West it is being painted as pasty tax - an assault on the Cornish icon.
Lib-Dem MPs Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay) and Andrew George (St Ives) are far from happy about it, vowing Cornishmen would fight on the beaches to oppose the pasty tax.
It's a Coalition policy that is likely to hit them - and fellow Cornish Lib-Dem Dan Rogerson - at the ballot box. With the South West also a favoured hang-out of Britain's increasingly ageing population, so is the move to squeeze pensioner allowances - potentially allowing Tory MPs to sweep them away west of the Tamar.
Now the minimum pricing for booze has been unveiled, and that's got cider producers (predominantly based in the South West) up in arms too. It'll go down particularly badly in the Lib-Dem cluster of seats around Somerset, where cider is virtually worshipped.
My Friday afternoon theory is Osborne hopes these measures will make the Lib-Dems even more unpopular than they already are in some key heartlands, and is relying on Tory voters in the South West to stay loyal. If that happens, it brings an outright Conservative majority ever closer.
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