Let's start with the positives. There was one. Hammond has banned estate agents from charging up front fees to people wishing to be tenants. A serious abuse that was taking money out of the pockets of people looking for a home has been plugged. Well done. Plain and simple good news.
There the good news stopped. This is the situation as I see it:
1. Hammond didn't even mention the deficit. The one that matters most that is. He failed to highlight the dreadful UK balance of payments deficit and so failed to come up with a long term strategy to tackle it.
2. His strategy for tackling the deficit on government spending and receipts is an interesting one. Hope for the best. Some time down the line we might balance the budget. You never know we might be lucky and inflation will deal with it. Ignore the crisis of rising care costs. Pretend the crisis of NHS costs can be tackled with a few small gestures. Remove one or two of the very worst excesses of the austerity cuts and hope that no one notices that the others are starting to bite very badly and there is still no sign of a balanced budget.
3. He has given money to building developers in the hope that they suddenly turn into nice people who care about meeting the needs of the poorest in society and will use brown field sites well. He not only continues to starve housing associations of cash to build and to block all meaningful construction of new council homes. He goes in for more sales of housing association homes. Don't be surprised when the green belt is destroyed but there is still a housing crisis.
4. He has raised the tax threshold and claimed that he's done so to help those who are just managing. Then he has failed to claw back the bonanza this gives to higher rate tax payers. Instead he is also raising the threshold for higher tax payments to £50,000. In other words he has just transferred even more money to those who are managing very well indeed.
5. He has announced plans to invest in infrastructure and to help deprived regions. Weak plans that are out of all proportion to the scale of the need. Tired plans for new road schemes mixed in with limited plans for broadband technology. No plans for integrated rail transport network covering the north efficiently. No plans to properly kick start the green energy companies we need for the future.
6. He has given incentives to oil and gas companies to carry on drilling and done nothing to incentivise people to cut down on energy use. This means no help for people to cut their energy bills and no realistic plans to deal quickly and easily with a dangerous gap that is emerging between use of energy and supply. Instead he chose to cut the cost of petrol at the pumps in the hope it would win a few votes.
7. He is wasting tax payers money on creating new religious schools and new grammar schools in an attempt to segregate upper middle class children from kids that will be left in demoralised secondary modern schools that have been starved of funds and told off for failing to achieve better results whilst losing their most talented pupils.
8. He has utterly failed to present us with an economic plan for Brexit. The UK parliament has still not been given any clues as to what the broad negotiating strategy is or how we intend to prepare for this major economic shock. In two years and five months we lose free access to over 40% of our export markets and have to hope that we will sell enough to the rest of the world to make up for any losses. There was no strategy for making British industry more competitive or the British service industry more trustworthy and reliable. Perhaps Hammond is hoping something will turn up to save our economy. Most of the rest of the nation was hoping to see an effective plan.
9. He announced plans to help UK car industries to invest in modern electric vehicles. Something that sounds great and looks like he finally got a key message. Until you realise that what he was actually announcing was the scale of the bribe he had to make to Nissan to persuade it to carry on making cars in Sunderland. Nissan clearly understood where technology was going and forced his hand.
10. He said nothing about the Bank of England's use of a further £170 billion of quantitative easing money. The previous £370 billion was frittered away on buying dubious assets from banks in order to supply them with more cash. Why is he allowing the Bank of England to fritter away the next and probably the last tranche of free money which they only dare create at a time of very low inflation.
Imagine what Hammond could have done with £170 billion to spend on long term investment in restructuring the British economy.
No, hang on, scrub that comment.
It might be more enlightening to imagine what a competent and far sighted Chancellor could have done with £170 billion to spend on long term investment. Because Hammond has just proved that he doesn't fall into that category.