Thursday 22 February 2018

Taxing times for chancellor on Twitter

Peter Flanagan New Technology Correspondent

IT may have been the most important day on Britain's economic calendar, but chancellor George Osborne still found time to join Twitter yesterday.

But his inaugural tweet was fairly unremarkable.

"Today I'll present a Budget that tackles the economy's problems head on helping those who want to work hard & get on," he (or his staff) wrote, accompanied by a photo of a tieless chancellor working at his desk.

The famous red brief case, which he later used to carry what was expected to be one of the toughest budgets in recent years, sat alongside him.

He and his advisers may have seen it as a good public relations move for him to get online, but news he had joined Twitter received an underwhelming response from users of the site.

The replies sent to Mr Osborne that weren't laced with profanities were negative to say the least. One wag described his timeline as "the most boring ever". Another highlighted the lack of commas in his tweet, saying, "Your punctuation is worse than your maths."

Political commentator Iain Martin pictured Mr Osborne "in his office, nervously considering a second tweet. Go for humour? Something economic? Link to unfunny cat video?"

Still, by the time he was standing at the despatch box, he had nearly 23,000 followers.

Closer to home, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has stayed well away from Twitter. While the department is expected to set up an account in the near future, a personal account for Mr Noonan is unlikely.

If he did go for it though, ithere are a lot of people who would love to see him display his dry sense of humour in 140 characters or less.

Irish Independent

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