My instinct last week was that he tried too hard to please the Tory press. Nothing’s that’s happened since has suggested otherwise.
If the war lasts a few years at most, the Chancellor can take the hit. If it’s a new normal that lasts for decades, the outlook is grim.
His Mais lecture revealed more about what he’d be like as Chancellor during the normal times that once again are denied us.
The fundamental problem is that costs are going up faster than we are getting more productive.
Lumping more onto the UK’s tax burden – already at the highest sustained level seen in peacetime – cannot be the answer.
The Chancellor extolled principles that point to the possibility of meaningful pro-growth reform of how revenues are raised.
There should be a growth target to complement the inflation target – to drive government departments to take actions that will promote more UK activity and jobs.
Yesterday he sent a powerful message about the need to build a stronger economy, with a focus on innovation and investment.
Setting a target for three decades in the future is illusory, lending itself to virtue-signalling and ill-thought-out measures.
We should pause for breath, inject some rational thinking and consider the alternatives before it’s too late.
The second piece in a mini-series on ConHome this week on Net Zero and climate change.
What we need is to promote a higher wage, higher productivity economy. Our economic targets should reflect those aims.