It may be necessary, given the Coronavirus, and could even work. But Britain has a long, long record of state spending failing to turbo-charge growth.
In sum, Hammond said: vote for May’s Deal – or the economy gets it. But there’s more than one way of dicing the next election result.
But although the era of austerity is coming to a close, we are emphatically not rejecting the need for ongoing discipline with the public finances.
“Now we have reached a defining moment on this, long, hard journey. Opening a new chapter in our country’s economic history.”
People will not accept any arrangement that isn’t funded through the tax system and free at the point of use. So we have to find a way of making the current model work.
Plus: We need a Housing Minister who will do for new homes what Michael Heseltine did with development corporations in the 1980s.
The lack of a Conservative Commons majority prevented the Chancellor from doing much more than playing it safe – which he did effectively.
This first piece of a mini-series on what should be in the manifesto argues that the Conservatives must get serious about living within our means.
It makes spending commitments which exceed the amounts it budgets to spend. Those escalating commitments…will approach E250 billion by the time we leave.
It’s always tempting for politicians to outsource important decisions. But it doesn’t work.
The OBR’s assessment is “consistent with a range of possible outcomes that we can keep under review in future forecasts”. In other words, it’s sorry – but it hasn’t a clue.
The occupant of Number 11 may seek to become what Margaret Thatcher claimed to be after she was brought down: “a good back seat driver”.
It felt more like a pre-election than a post-election one – and was shot through by a sense of the Chancellor’s political mortality.
Plus: The OBR isn’t needed to audit manifestos. The SNP’s sleight-of-hand on austerity. A lack of debate on healthcare. And: don’t make promises you can’t keep.
It’s front page story exactly a week ago misrepresented an Office of Budget Responsibility report. (P.S: The OBR isn’t doing too well itself either.)