The implications of the crisis are such that Johnson and Sunak need not so much to think outside the box as to trample it to tatters altogether.
The fact that Darlington station was explicitly addressed in his statement is a great sign of how swiftly the Chancellor has mastered the detail of his brief.
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.
“The OBR have said that today’s Budget will be the largest sustained fiscal boost for thirty years.”
The Budget document itself, plus a summary of the measures, costings, data sources and distributional analysis.
In his debut Budget, Sunak promises quicker access to benefits, statutory sick pay for all who self-isolate – and money for the NHS “whatever it costs”.
Plus: As of writing, I’ve had hardly any communications at all from constituents about the Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus will punch a hole in Sunak’s sums sufficient to throw levelling-up, Boosterism, Brexit bonuses – what have you – off course.
“I’m not going to be able to go through every measure with you”, he tells Sophy Ridge as she presses him on the controversial proposal.
At the least, we can expect reduced growth worldwide – and a more expansionary Budget next month.
The former Chancellor can become spokesman for a cause, and it isn’t hard to see what it could be: lower spending and taxes.
The author of the final piece in our mini-series identifies corporation tax, stamp duty, national insurance and investment allowances as targets for action.
My answer would be “maybe, provided the spending or tax cuts significantly improved our growth potential.”
The Chancellor could please every beer & cider drinker; charity donor; motorhome manufacturer, retailer and owner; caravan site owner, and public toilet user in Britain.
We cheer the mission. But government needs more compromise, art, tact and accomodation than campaigning alone allows.