Looking at the headlines before the budget you could be forgiven for thinking that Philip Hammond was the condemned man, about to present the toughest budget for a generation. Roll forward to lunchtime and when “box office” Phil stood up to entertain the nation he appeared relaxed – even relishing his time in the spotlight.

As is now the case the actual tax announcements in the speech were thin on the ground. We found out that the personal allowance and basic rate threshold will be raised, despite rumours of them being frozen and the VAT threshold will be frozen, despite rumours of it being reduced (probably the only moment of jeopardy when we were guessing “will he, won’t he”).

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