Although delivered by Dishi Rishi, we’re told this was Boris Johnson’s Budget. 

It sounded more like Carrie Antoinette.

Let them have prosecco!

When the dust settles, it’s going to take more than a few pence off sparkling wine and draught beer to ease the pain.

After the event, Prime Minister and Chancellor went through the motions. They posed with a few pints at London’s brewery to highlight reform of alcohol duty. 

Sunak, a strict teetotaller, didn’t seem to have any heart. We’re all going to have a bitter taste in our months once the fiscal measures announced on Wednesday begin to bite. Both know it.

Mr Sunak delivered his budget to MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday

On Wednesday, Mr Sunak delivered his budget at the House of Commons to MPs.

Mr Sunak has been accused of having picked the pockets of Middle England following his budget on Wednesday

After Wednesday’s budget, Mr Sunak is accused of having taken the money from Middle England.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s advisable to wait 24 hours before commenting on any Budget. There’s always something nasty hidden in the small print.

After the number crunchers have looked through every detail, the real picture begins to emerge. 

And yesterday, the consequences of Rishi’s tax-raising, spending-splurging package became glaringly apparent.

The big banks took one glance and raised mortgage rates immediately.

By the end of this Parliament, families on middle incomes will be paying an extra £3,000 a year in tax. 

Inflation will devour any morsels that were taken from the Treasury Table yesterday.

Even Rishi’s freezing of fuel duties is sleight of hand, since VAT receipts will go on rising as the world price of oil adds to the cost at the pump. 

Petrol has already hit £1.43 a litre, diesel £1.46, and we’re a long way from the peak.

Council tax is about to go through the roof, and you still won’t get your dustbins emptied. Increases in corporation tax — a tax on jobs by any other name — and in National Insurance are in the pipeline.

The Chancellor may only be doing his master next door’s bidding, but there’s simply no justification for pouring more money into Government departmental budgets right now.

Yet this nominally Conservative Government is intent on burning through cash on a scale not seen since the famous Yorkshire housewife Viv Nicholson won a record £151,319 on the football pools in 1961 and promised to ‘spend, spend, spend’ until she’d blown the lot.

At least it was Viv’s own money to blow. It is insane to expect taxpayers to pay the bill for putting billions of dollars into unreformed public service reforms at a time when the country already is in deep debt. It will be swallowed up by pay rises.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak visits Bury Market on Thursday. Mr Sunak said in his budget that the pandemic-hit economy is set to extend its solid recovery into next year despite strong inflationary pressures

On Thursday, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, visits Bury Market. Mr Sunak stated in his budget that the pandemic-hit country’s solid recovery is expected to continue into next year, despite rising inflation.

Yet Sunak has announced yet another £6 billion cash injection for the National Health Service, on top of the thick end of £40 billion allocated a couple of months ago.

Boris may have concluded that Our Amazing NHS is so highly regarded that there will be no objections to a moneyless policy. He may have horribly misjudged what the public mood was in that case.

Now the Covid crisis has abated, I can’t see many standing on their doorsteps every Thursday night, clapping and banging their saucepans for a complacent health service sitting on a backlog of almost six million appointments.

Or applauding GPs who refuse to see patients face to face and voting on industrial action.

This may not be the only misinterpretation as to where the public is at the moment. 

As part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda, Rishi announced billions for deprived regions, including museums and cultural heritage projects.

His pompous chanting the names of the lucky beneficiaries, much like a well-refreshed uncle handing Liquorice All-Sorts to Christmas recipients, struck me as patronizing.

It seemed as if the Tories had bought into the idea of the North of England being a land of dark satanic satanic mills. This must be pulled up by a Westminster-enlightened, benevolent government.

This vision of the North seems to be based on kitchen sink dramas such as When The Boat Comes in and This Sporting Life. 

I’m only surprised he didn’t announce tax breaks for cloth caps and whippets. The Chancellor’s handouts included £2 million for a new Beatles attraction on the Liverpool waterfront.


I’d have thought the last thing Liverpool needs is yet another Beatles attraction. It already has a magnificent Beatles Museum, a Beatles Story destination and Beatles bus tours. 

The Albert Dock is overflowing from Beatles pilgrims

What difference is one more Fab Four shrine, or a statue of John Lennon’s Auntie Mimi, going to make? 

Even with the additional tax on spirits and fortified wine, two million dollars is still a lot to buy a round of drinks in the context the latest Government splurge.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a visit to Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey, London

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, with Rishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer), during a visit at Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey.

Boris will consider it worth every penny if he shoots Labour’s fox, which he appears to have done for now. 

Keir Starmer was able to be there on Wednesday, after he tested positive for Covid. 

It wasn’t the first time. Starmer seems to have spent more time alone since the pandemic began than Mad Frankie Fraser.

The Tories’ latest drunken-sailor spending spree left Starmer’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, like her namesake Martha, with Nowhere To Run.

She was reduced, however, to moaning about how the Budget did not address climate change. 

Mind you, she did manage to slip in a line condemning Rishi for picking people’s pockets.

Labour can complain about Tories raising taxes. This is a sign that we have truly been through the Looking Glass.

The truth is that. . . ‘The Tories used to be the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Now they’re the party of the public sector. 

‘Boris leads a Big State, Big Spender Government beyond Jeremy Corbyn’s wildest dreams. His One Nation Conservatism is a thinly disguised version of Tony Blair’s Labour Lite.’

No, I didn’t write that yesterday. I wrote it back in June, in the immediate aftermath of the Lib Dems’ stunning by-election win in Chesham and Amersham — a constituency in Betjeman’s beloved Metro-Land, on the outskirts of London, which had only ever returned a Tory MP.

Yes, there were local issues — such as planning — but it should have been a shot across Boris’s bows. 

It’s all very well trying to shore up the Red Wall, but the Conservative heartlands could do with a little TLC, too.

And if there’s one thing virtually everyone hates, North and South, it’s higher taxes. This is especially true given his determination to make everyone poorer and colder in pursuit of his Net Zero political vanity project.

Sunak failed to raise thresholds, and this week he dragged another 50,000 people into inheritance taxes. Most of those affected are in the South in constituencies like Chesham.

Mr Sunak addresses lawmakers during a session on the budget at the House of Commons

During a session about the budget at the House of Commons, Mr Sunak addresses the lawmakers

Has he forgotten that the Tory revival began in earnest when George Osborne, in opposition, pledged to raise the threshold to an aspirational £1 million? 

Rishi didn’t look comfortable posing for photos later. His heart obviously wasn’t in it, which would explain his extraordinary apologia at the end of his speech.

Sunak, in a passage totally out of sync with the rest his Budget presentation, claimed he was an instinctive traditional Tory who is low-tax and small-government.

‘Do we want to live in a country where the response to every question is: what is the Government going to do about it? 

Every time prices rise, every company is in trouble. . . The answer is simple: the taxpayer must pay.

‘Government should have limits. My goal is to lower taxes. By the end of this Parliament, I want taxes going down not up.’

Why didn’t he start from there, instead of finishing there. He should have been bold, resisted Boris’s reckless boosterism, cut taxes and the size of the State, not increased them.

He could have expedited Liverpool’s freeport application, rather than build them a Ringo Grotto.

Right now, like Mr Micawber, he’s reduced to hoping something might turn up — relying on fiscal drag, which Boris probably thinks is something to do with Lily Savage. We will take the pain, in the meantime.

When your take-home pay shrivels, your mortgage rate leaps and you find yourself £3,000 a year worse off and counting; when petrol prices hit the stratosphere and there are queues at the pumps once again, don’t panic.

Prosecco is always a good option to fill up your car. . .