The clearest sign of how tight the public finances are is the small sums the chancellor's announcing. A few tens of millions of pounds may sound a lot but in Treasury terms they're a spare fiver and that's the sort of sum he's announced for many of his measures.
The big exception is measures to tackle child poverty costing around three quarters of a billion pounds. A lot but a fraction of the estimated £3.4bn required to get the government back on course for its target. We will soon discover how much new cars, pints of beer and bottles of wine and spirits will go up to pay for that.