Large sums of money could have been raised from a few of the richest people by the Chancellor. However, this would displease Tory donors, those who will influence the choice of the next Tory leader.

Hence the Chancellor is abandoning the chance to raise as much as £14bn a year from increasing capital gains tax from 20 per cent to 25 per cent according to the Office of Tax Simplification set up by George Osborne.

Under taxed, unearned wealth is soaring but Rishi Sunak prefers to raise National Insurance contributions from everyone else. He intends to cut income tax by 2p which the Institute for Fiscal Studies says “discriminates in favour of the wealthy”.

It will cost the Treasury an estimated £12 billion yet the State cannot afford to give up this amount of money when it is needed for the NHS, schools, social care. skills and transport.

Mr Sunak wants to be seen as a small-state anti-taxer to win the backing of the hard-line Tory party leader electorate.

By seducing a small unrepresentative right wing clique will the voters of Sunak`s constituency be impressed with his willingness to deprive public services of much needed resources.

His glossy Christmas no expenses spared newsletter, full of photo opportunities, is intended to keep the voters on-side.

It masks his levelling down manoeuvring for a leadership bid.

John Hopkins