He could commit to some tangible metrics – i.e: reducing the tax code in length by 25 per cent by 2019, or pledging to abolish three taxes in each budget.
In the last year he has lost much of his grassroots support and a powerful patron, leaving him without political armour.
The harsh truth is that, nearly seven years into Conservative-led Government, we are still living beyond our means.
Councils which fail to demonstrate a growth in business rates income will be punished by the electorate.
Boosting small firms offers an opportunity for poorer boroughs.
Allowing Business Rates flexibility to improve infrastructure would help the economy of the whole nation.
Other Whitehall grants, for instance on adult social care, will be phased out.
Councils need a voice in the Brexit negotiations, more devolution deals and full retention of Business Rates.
Poor areas need not lose out – they have an opportunity to embrace enterprise.
The Budget ducked the hard choices that need to be made.
Poorer areas have the most to gain from tax competition.
We should reward, not penalise, areas that deliver economic growth and public service reform
Low-tax atolls in areas of high unemployment and surplus housing stock could increase Government revenue, employment levels and home ownership.
This must be the first step in the Government’s devolution offer.
Keeping extra Business Rates revenue gives the council an incentive to provide more land for employment