Short on significant economic announcements
There is no need for a Budget.
That was the word coming from inside the Treasury before today. Their point was that the big decisions on tax had already been taken - in December's pre-Budget report - whilst the big decisions on spending - had been postponed until later in the year.
That's why today was very short of significant economic announcements and very long on political positioning.
The one rabbit the chancellor pulled from his Budget hat was not a policy but a statistic showing lower than expected borrowing figures - a cut of $13 billion next year. He will hope that this will help silence those who fear that the deficit is out of control.
However, look at the Treasury Red Book of Budget statistics and you see how hard it's been for the chancellor to find any money to spend.
The cut in stamp duty is only temporary - for two years - whereas the rise of stamp duty for more expensive homes appears to be permanent.
The departments of business and transport appear to be having their budgets cut by £475m. Asked on BBC2 how he was cutting his budget Lord Mandelson refused to say but promised a press release later this afternoon.
Until we see the announcements about where and how Whitehall is saving the promised £11bn of efficiency savings it will be too soon to judge the Budget in the round.
In truth, we need to see the much bigger spending cuts which will be made later in the year. There is now no chance of that.
What we can see, however, is Labour's two key pre-election arguments.
The first is that government is a "force for good" - hence the promise of a £2.5bn one-off growth package paid for by switching spending and the bonus tax.
The second is the familiar New Labour mantra of "for the many, not the few" - hence the promise of a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers paid for by the rich and increased help with social care paid for by increasing inheritance tax.
We now need an election to see whether the country agrees.