Writing about the Budget, I am aware of the various hints about its contents, says Gerald Davies, executive chairman, The Kymin Group.

It puts me in mind of the great Budget Leak of 70 years ago. The then Chancellor, Hugh Dalton, on his way into the House of Commons, leaked a whole series of facts that he was about to deliver in his speech. The reporter from the Star, a London evening paper at the time, got the story printed and on the streets 20 minutes before the speech. In the resulting furore, Dalton had to resign.

There is no such discipline these days. Everybody and his wife has their say before the day. Hints are dropped left, right and centre. The current Chancellor even gives interviews on television. No longer is the 'purdah' of the old days maintained.

The main headline from this November 2017 Budget concerned the pessimistic forecasts for UK growth.

It reminds me of last year. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) was invented by George Osborne. It’s headed by Robert Chote. Last year, as quoted in the press the next day, Mr Chote conceded that the OBR's at the hit to the public finances (following the decision to leave the EU) was uncertain, admitting that there was a 50 per cent chance that UK growth could be stronger than the OBR’s central forecast. Put not your faith in economists.

Neil Woodford, one of the UK’s foremost fund managers, has said: “The OBR has been wrong on productivity over the past five years and there is no reason to believe they have got it right now.”

In fact, productivity actually went up slightly in the last quarter, so it is entirely plausible that the OBR has made this change at precisely the wrong time.

Meanwhile, inflation is forecast to fall from three per cent to two per cent next year. So, reasons to be cheerful.

The main Budget proposals are, firstly, Stamp Duty to be abolished immediately for first time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. It follows that 80 per cent of all first time buyers will not pay Stamp Duty, likely to be all of them in South Wales. There are lots of other proposals affecting housing and the government’s long term goal is to build 300,000 houses a year by the mid-2020s. Should be possible. Harold Macmillan achieved this in the mid-1950s!

There’ll be more duty on tobacco. Good. Can’t be high enough. I speak as one who gave up smoking when cigarettes were five shillings (25p) for 20. This was in about 1965. More duty is to be charged on high strength 'white ciders'.

The fuel escalator, pencilled in for April 2018, will be scrapped as in the last several years. This doesn’t mean the price of fuel won’t go up or down. The price at the pumps is mostly affected by the price of crude oil, which, in turn, is affected by world markets.

The tax-free personal allowance will rise from £11,500 to £11,850 in April 2018. The higher rate tax threshold will increase to £46,350.

Other headlines include £2.8bn extra funding for the National Health Service in England. Also £1.2bn extra for Welsh Government.

There is also £500m for 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence; £540m to support the growth of electric cars including more charging points and a further £2.3bn for investment in research and development. It is often forgotten by the television pundits, that the UK is the sixth biggest economy in the world. This needs supporting with investment in technology.

There will be a series of measures, totalling £1.5bn, to address concerns about the delivery of Universal Credit. It should be remembered that this is to replace a complex web of six different benefits and is designed to make sure that work always pays. Clearly this is working as unemployment in the UK is at its lowest level for 40 years. However, every help that can be given to claimants is obviously welcome.

On education, there is targeted help for underperforming schools, for new computer science teachers and for the teaching of maths.

Finally, in what I promise will be my only mention of the dreaded 'B' word, £3bn will be set aside over the next two years to prepare the UK for every possible outcome as it leaves the EU.

With some important investments in technology aside, this is largely a neutral Budget, laying out some rules for future growth.

Meanwhile, I hope we can all look forward to a Happy Christmas