The spending review outlined by the Chancellor paints a daunting picture of where the economy is headed in the months ahead.
It is good that Rishi Sunak ignored calls to gut public services. But worryingly he still plans to go ahead with a “cap for carers” and freeze most public sector workers’ pay.
There is no need for more austerity. We can ignore the idea that we are in danger of "maxing out the nation's credit card". The government's own figures show we are on course to pay £20 billion less than expected in debt interest next year.
The impact of the pandemic after 10 years of public spending cuts means that the government needs to go much further if it is going to support communities as we build back from the epidemic. This will require sustained investment.
Lots of uncertainty remains and tax rises are off the agenda for now.
At the point the Chancellor starts to think about tax changes, he needs to protect those who’ve been hit hardest by the pandemic and ensure that those with the broadest shoulders pay their share. That would be fair, and popular.