"It was a re-announcement," the Chancellor concedes after the Spending Review figures show capital investment is still being cut.
Through his narrow focus on making the books add up now, the Chancellor is piling up social costs for the future.
A new seven day wait before people can claim benefits and a freeze in student maintenance grants will hit the poor hardest.
The huge cuts to laboratories and equipment have already undermined the UK's world class science base.
Why everyone’s pretty much making it up.
The Chancellor's decision to set out plans for 2015-16 nearly two years in advance has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with economics.
Three years have been wasted as infrastructure 'plans' have failed to progress to projects. In the Spending Review, the Chancellor has a chance to reverse course.
If austerity is wrong and counter-productive when the Tories do it, it will be wrong and counter-productive whoever does it.
The party should publish a series of potential fiscal rules for discussion and replace the VAT cut with a stimulus based on growth-raising capital investment.
Without further welfare cuts or tax rises, the next government will have to cut departmental spending 50% faster.