One good U-turn deserves another. That seems to be the message from the insurance lobby, which wasted no time in seizing on the chancellor’s budget woes to push its immediate policy goal: a U-turn on the discount rate for calculating compensation for the injured.  

Within hours of Philip Hammond dropping plans for an increase in national insurance contributions, James Dalton, director of policy at the Association of British Insurers, had written to the chancellor advising: ‘The government can fill the void in its accounts from today’s Class 4 NICs U-turn by bringing in a more sensible discount rate used to calculate personal injury compensation.

‘As last week’s budget confirmed, the ill-judged decision to reduce the discount rate to -0.75 per cent will lead to a massive £6bn hit on the NHS so this seems an obvious course of action to take.’

Keep it classy, James.