Budget is a lazy piece of work

The Chancellor is a cruel beast. Did he have to mention the Germans? Corbyn must be sick to death of them after Bayern Munich gave Arsenal their annual thrashing the night before. And I know because I was there at the match suffering too.


Hammond would not let it rest. The whole point of the spring budget was to rub Arsenal-loving Corbyn’s nose in it.

The Germans are ahead of the UK on productivity so we must catch up with them by hook or by crook. That is the big message. And Hammond thinks Corbyn is as clueless as Wenger.

It was one gag after another. He looked archly at Corbyn when he mentioned job security (or lack of) and likened Labour to a driverless car. But not in a good way. Hammond was funny in that Oxbridge style that many of you seem to like.

Did you watch the show on TV? You must do. The Tories do not think there is any opposition in England at all. When Corbyn started his Speakers’ Corner style shouty speech the MPs opposite streamed for the exits. He is no threat.  Are they right? We will see.

But Hammond’s total lack of respect for Labour is at the heart of the problem. The budget is just a lazy piece of work.

It’s short. That’s not because it is a model of clarity like the Ten Commandments. The truth is they couldn’t be bothered. Housing got one mention in the speech. So much for that White Paper we fawned over.

Will Hammond’s pride come before a fall? It could do. The ONS says that unsecured household debt is at a record high. Do you remember this was a big factor in the credit crunch and everything after?

To be fair the budget does warn us about rising household debt. But in the next breath welcomes with relief that house prices will keep on going up. Because for a lot of lucky owners that pushes debt down.

So there you have it ladies and gentleman. We have a housing White Paper that worries about house prices being too high. And a Chancellor that rubs his hands with glee as they soar.

Corbyn made many fine points. But the other side think he is a joke. That will be the Tories undoing. They’re just not working hard enough.

Hammond told a funny story about an earlier Tory Chancellor that was riding high in the spring. What happened next? Ten weeks later he was kaput.  The tide turned. Batten down the hatches.