On Wednesday George Osborne will baffle the nation with statistics when he presents his Autumn Statement, but today it was his turn to put on a 1,000-yard stare when he visited his local HMRC offices in Westminster.
Amid the whirl of numbers that greeted the Chancellor on the corporate whiteboard were the October performance figure (87 per cent – smiley face) and the Roy Castle-inspired “People engagement words of the week – Delegation is what we need!”
What the performance figure relates to can only be speculated at (negative headlines about corporation tax? Proportion of Revenue staff who have saved a fortune buying their Christmas gifts on Amazon?) but one thing is for sure – George will be hoping that when he reveals the latest public borrowing number, it’s not a record-breaker.