Budgets that are cheered by Conservative backbenchers on the afternoon they’re delivered…
…are sometimes booed by conservative newspapers the morning after.
Since we can assume hostility from the Daily Mirror and the Guardian, the test this morning was what the rest of Fleet Street made of it.
The Financial Times has the balanced “Grim outlook overshadows housing drive” while the Times goes for “Hammond eases off austerity”. The i has “Hammond’s hard-hat budget”. So could be worse for him so far.
Meanwhile, the Daily Express leads, predictably enough, on the Brexit angle: “£3 billion to speed up EU exit”.
So on to the core of the centre-right papers – the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Sun.
The Sun has a strip across the top of its front page showing the Chancellor as a grinning cricketer next to the headline “House-Zat”, with three blobs next to it: two are positive for him (“Hammond’s aid for young” and “Stamp Duty axe to help £1m”) and one negative (“But 7 years of pay gloom”).
The Telegraph simply takes the housing angle: “Helping hand for first-time buyers”.
And the Mail has a fully-fledged recantation: “Eeyore no more!”, though with the proviso “But he should still be very glum about Britain’s debt.”
All in all, it could have been a great deal worse.