As Britain prepares to borrow more than £215bn in the next five years, and with the economy is flux as the consequences of the Brexit vote unfold, can UK businesses afford to raise the National Living Wage? Simple maths says that if we produce more, we sell more, and the country as a whole will make more money. Here's five reasons why, if we can figure out the productivity problem, I say yes.
The decision by the Chancellor to scrap the Autumn Statement altogether was also welcome - fewer Budgets will mean entrepreneurs can better plan for the future. We now wait for the weightier Spring Budget to see if Philip Hammond will take real action to cut the most destructive taxes and simplify incentives to boost UK entrepreneurship.
It's been drummed into us that Brexit means Brexit. And now we hear that there is a 'Hard Brexit' and a 'Soft Brexit', with ideology seemingly having more of a say than what works for all. The details sound, and no doubt are, very complicated, and I certainly wouldn't have a clue where to start with sorting out a UK wide position, let alone negotiating for it.
We know what the inflationary impact of the UK sugar tax is. It is a massive £1 billion of additional national debt interest. We know this because the Guardian newspaper let this slip in one of their sub-headings a few weeks after the sugar tax was announced. People against Sugar Tax wrote to the Office for Budget Responsibility, and they confirmed this was the case. We were genuinely shocked at this astronomical figure.
If the Chancellor does nothing, or too little, he will be forever tainted as the worst kind of Tory - the kind that merely seeks to entrench advantage for the benefit of his own class. But if the Chancellor were to adopt this simple 10 point plan he could become the best kind of Tory - a new Peel or Disraeli. The choice is, almost entirely, his.
A "very kind, generous and public-spirited gesture". That's how George Osborne acknowledged one pensioner's decision to pay back their Winter Fuel Payment. The benefit, worth between £100 and £300, is paid to around 12 million pensioners each year to help them meet the cost of heating their homes over the winter months.
For me this budget got it wrong on the start up front by ignoring the value start-ups bring to our economy and doing nothing for them. We may not realise the impact of this up to the election, which is perhaps what the chancellor is counting on, but it's clearly not in our country's long term interest. A budget for 'doers'? I don't think so!
Last week, hundreds of thousands of Londoners and commuters in the rest of the South East battled strikes and main line signal failures to get to work. With considerable grit and determination many of them succeeded. It's fair to say that George Osborne's Christmas gift to restrict regulated fare rises is already no more than a distant memory...