Rishi Sunak, so beloved of the media last year as Chancellor giveaway, had a harder time addressing the media ahead of the UK Budget this week. over the weekend.
He has been harassed by panicky mandarins into raising some taxes to plug the enormous deficit caused by the Covid pandemic inspired economic shutdown.
However, as David Cameron said last week. We don't know how deep the damage really is until we re-open the economy. It might well bounce back fairly well.
Of course, there are hundreds of billions blown on furlough and tax collection is well down, there is a huge hole in the Government balance sheet. But the same is true across the world. Raising taxes on business is his favourite idea, along with taxes on entrepreneurship.
Given the current impact of Brexit, this is the worst idea of a tax rise. Right now, we need to stop businesses relocating to Luxembourg, Dublin and elsewhere in the EU. Having paying businesses leave the Country for the EU is a loss in a zero sum game.
Instead, the Chancellor should be doing a mini-budget, introducing some austerity to public spending ex-NHS and reducing the furlough scheme from April. Then, when hopefully things are more normal in the Autumn better stock can be taken of what needs to be done to pay for the pandemic over future years.
All that really matters is that we get Government income and tax rises at the right level to start reducing the debt as a percentage of GDP in 2022 - anything before that is likely to have a net negative impact on an already sclerotic economy.
Tax rises during lockdown is surely the worst idea yet from the Treasury! If you had too, then maybe a digital tax on online sales as part of the great re-balancing around business rates and the changing economic model - but in theory these should be tax neutral changes in any event.