The Budget appeared to have landed well. Tory MPs at PMQs on Wednesday were in a notably better mood than normal; a fight with Labour over a tax cut cheered them all up. But this evening some of the sheen has come off the Budget with the resignation of the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.
Crouch has gone over the fact that the stake limit for fixed odds betting terminals is not coming in as quickly as expected. Crouch’s resignation is embarrassing for the government as the main reason that this ban, which would take the maximum stake down from £100 to £2, isn’t coming in quicker is the amount of tax revenue the government makes out of these machines. It is also problematic as Crouch’s position has a lot of support on the Tory benches, most notably from the former party leader Iain Duncan Smith.
The delay in introducing this cut in the FOTB stakes risks making the government, and the Treasury in particular, look like it knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.