Whatever shall he do now?
[Chancellor] George Osborne has prepared the ground for a damaging admission in Wednesday's autumn statement that lower than expected growth means he will breach the second of his fiscal targets, on reducing debt as a proportion of national income by the end of the parliament.
However, it is deeply humiliating that the chancellor is to see both of his targets smashed less than two and a half years after setting them amid much fanfare.
Osborne told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme: "It's clearly taking longer to deal with Britain's debts. It's clearly taking longer to recover from the financial crisis than anyone would have hoped. But we've made real progress – the deficit is down by a quarter, there are a million more jobs in the private sector – and to turn back now, to go back to the borrowing and the debt and the spending, would be a complete disaster for our country."
If you're wondering, as a result of this Osbourne is expected to announce...wait for it...new austerity measures!
Perhaps it will work this time.