Mark Dolan: There's no such thing as a generous Chancellor

'Rishi Sunak hasn't just raided the piggy bank, he's smashed it into a million little pieces'

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Today's budget was a bit like that call in the afternoon from the garage after you've dropped your car off for a service. Needs brake pads, carburettor, suspension forks and a new engine.

It's gonna cost you. The multitude of problems that need fixing in this country all boil down to one thing: readies, loot, p, wonga, cashola, spondulico’s - money.

There isn't a single government department that isn't crying out for an unprecedented injection of cash as a direct result of the government’s colossal, unprecedented experiment of lockdown and other Covid measures.

And today Rishi Sunak hasn't just raided the piggy bank, he's smashed it into a million little pieces. Our national debt is an eye-watering two trillion quid, we will be running a budget deficit for years to come, with more going out than coming in and inflation is on the rise. Things are not looking good, for this good-looking politician.

He loves a photo opportunity does Dishy Rishy. Here he is enjoying a fancy barbecue but after today what he really needs is a grilling.

Prior to the budget, the diminutive chancellor gave himself an uplift with a pair of these £95 sliders no such uplift for those on universal credit. Maybe he should have flip flopped on that one.

Although I’m told they’re not flip flops.But there’s no way you can airbrush the countries financial situation –it’s a dogs dinner.

But Rishi Sunak is best in show and I believe will soon be top dog, eventually replacing Boris Johnson. I think Boris wins the next election and Sunak potentially wins the one after that.

It was an assured performance today from the man at number 11, as he sought to achieve a delicate balance of repairing the damage of the last 18 months with much needed investment it health, education, housing and beyond.

Now is not the time for austerity, quite the opposite. It's time to splash the cash and go for growth. Borrowed billion can only be justified if they are repayed, with interest, in jobs, productivity and strong economic growth.

The chancellor also acknowledged the huge moral responsibility we have to tackle our debts. You know as well as I do that any household has to balance the books - we've all got to look at what comes in and what goes out.

Sometimes borrowing when you're under pressure and sometimes putting a bit aside when times are good. And the government owes fiscal responsibility not just to every citizen living in this country, but to future generations too – we have no right to saddle them with this debt.

They will have their own crises - a natural disaster, an economic crash, a war and they will need the fire power. We have no right to use their ammunition. In the end this call from the garage ended well. The metaphorical car needs work and might have a few bumps, but it's a Rolls-Royce.

This budget rightly struck an ultimately optimistic note about our prospects. The fundamentals of the British economy are strong. Out of the EU, we are a global trading nation having in recent months attracted more international investment than France Germany and Italy put together.

This country is a global beacon of diversity, of innovation, of creativity, of manufacturing prowess, of commerce – science, business, culture - there's no end to it, and there's no limit to what we can do.

And we still haven't had the Brexit bounce due to the pandemic, but mark my words it's coming. Inflation is a worry and both the public and private sector are damaged but they are not broken.

They will reshape, reinvent, repair and come back stronger. I'm going to give this budget a cautious welcome, but it comes with terms and conditions.

The biggest mistake we made in the course of this pandemic was not doing a cost benefit analysis of the Covid measures and whether they might work, and what the potential consequences would be for the economy.

It's very clear that the economy was not taken into account when they wasted £34 billion on a test and trace system that didn't work when they closed once viable businesses, and paid people to stay at home.

For millions of people, going out to work and making a contribution to the economy and society was not a luxury they were afforded. Seems hard to believe when you think about it, doesn't it?

The first pandemic where we quarantined the healthy and stopped them from going to work. Wow. I look forward to seeing how history judges that one.

If there were more economists in Sage, none of this would've happened. Wreck the economy and you wreck lives and you cost lives too.

The University of Bristol have told me in a previous interview that creating the biggest recession in 300 years, which was policy, could cost half million lives. So we’ve got the balance sheet in front of us, the numbers are in and they don't lie.

We've paid far too higher price for this pandemic and we will take a long long time to fully recover. Which is why in any future crisis, the health of the economy must come before all else. The health of the economy must be paramount, because it pays for the health of everything else, including the National Health Service.

Voices on the left think we can borrow forever - you and I know that's not true. You and I know that debt is economic quicksand and once you start sinking, you're not coming back.

The extraordinary, unprecedented levels of spending we’ve seen today still isn't enough for Labour, which just shows you how reckless they are about the nation’s finances.

Even the former Labour supporting Dan Hodges expressed such a sentiment this week saying Sunak to spend billions more on the NHS. "It's not enough!!!!". Sunak to raise minimum wage and scrap public sector pay freeze. "It's not enough!!!".

The government have been told that the pathetic idea of Plan B Covid measures, supposedly low level interventions like face masks and social distancing and working from home would cost the economy up to 18 billion quit.

Well after today it’s clear we need to generate 18 billion more quid going forward, no borrow it. Be clear, there is no such thing as a generous Chancellor.

Because you can't be generous, with someone else's money. At that money is yours. So the nation’s credit card has been maxed out, the overdraft limit reached, but if we get this right with a laser focus on growth and the reinvention of this unique and brilliant country, will be laughing all the way to the bank.