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Beware Hunt’s hype. There’s more poverty ahead and his budget did nothing to change that

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I have spent more than 25 years covering budgets, because someone had to, and have learned one golden rule: for all the huff and puff, the ready reckoners and those blessed fan charts, most of what’s said evaporates from the public consciousness by the weekend.

Out of all Jeremy Hunt’s promises today, only one will linger in the electorate’s memory: providing working parents with 30 hours of free childcare during term time for their babies and toddlers.Not that you’d know.

The chancellor gave it only brief airtime and got far more excited at the idea of building “12 potential Canary Wharfs”. But that’s the only policy guaranteed to light up WhatsApp groups this evening and perhaps to be remembered by many voters at the ballot box.

It is also, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the measure that will do most to boost the economy – more than the much costlier giveaways to business.

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