Most obviously, this complicates their Net Zero strategy; you would have expected fiscal policy increasingly to have rebalanced towards green taxes.
Conservative governments can raise tax rates temporarily as part of a clear plan – which wasn’t the case with last week’s announcement.
This can give the Tories a tremendous advantage in a democracy because the public, as a whole, does not have fixed views either.
The cat of Tory tax rises has fewer than nine lives. Especially if these breach manifesto pledges and are generationally unfair.
Once inflation arises, reversing course is difficult. Businesses shut down or relocate, unemployment soars and we enter an economic contraction.
What we need is to promote a higher wage, higher productivity economy. Our economic targets should reflect those aims.
Looked at in the round, over the 2010-2016 period, the UK had the joint highest growth for a G7 economy, level with the US.
The Government can’t deliver levelling up without more supply-side change, localism and public service reform.
Conservative messaging implies an implicit belief that there are no major state functions ripe for reform in any fiscal repair.
We have seen it in the context of Europe; we are seeing it in the context of Covid restrictions. We may more of it in tackling the public finances.
The OBR’s horrid forecasts of an output implosion and soaring unemployment will do nothing to quell Tory resistance to tougher Covid tiers.
The Treasury should hold one as the year rolls on, along the lines of that undertaken by Canada’s government during the 1990s.
We should have a laser-like focus on reducing the tax burden, instead of relying on nannying to get us off of our bottoms.
If so much, as Ministers suggest, depends on common sense, nuance, context and common sense, people will draw the inevitable conclusion.
I qualified as a personal trainer to train people in my spare time. The greatest challenge is breaking down the barriers people face to getting fit and healthy.