Philip Hammond must ditch deficit reduction and invest. But he won't | Larry Elliott
The chancellor should change course but with no majority, no money and no productivity growth there’s no hope of that
Philip Hammond did not get his nickname of “Spreadsheet Phil” for nothing. The chancellor is a cautious man, who thinks that tackling Britain’s productivity challenge is a better use of his time than trying to wrongfoot his opposite number, John McDonnell, with political gimmicks.
Hammond’s instinct in the run-up to his second budget has been to hunker down, to hide himself away in the Treasury and send out messages that he simply doesn’t have the money to bail the government out of its current troubles.