The test for Mr Hammond is this.
Asked at a press conference in Oslo whether her government was planning to send the nation to the polls, she said: "No". Britain's next general election is not due until 2022, but speculation is growing that May could call one early, soon after the country leaves the European Union on March 29. That would not be in the national interest'.
"The Chancellor must promise that the new digital services tax will not morph into an online sales tax in the future".
That prompted renewed accusations from Labour that ministers are preparing to turn Britain into a low tax, low regulation offshore economy along the lines of Singapore.
To this end the United Kingdom will from April 2020 introduce a digital services tax that will include digital platforms such as search engines, social networks and online shops.
The RAC's chief engineer, David Bizley, told the BBC that the cash injection for roads maintenance is "good news" for motorists.
"If a general election is coming, what they'll do is they'll splash out some money and then if they win the election they then start cutting it back again".
Hammond said improving public finances after years of belt-tightening meant he could give government departments a real-terms spending boost next year.More news: Turkey says Jamal Khashoggi was 'strangled, dismembered' in Saudi consulate
The shadow chancellor was speaking immediately after he met delegates from business at Bloomberg's City of London offices, where he said "the big issue" they had raised with him was the status of the Brexit negotiations.
With control over income tax rates and bands devolved to Scotland, Mr Mackay said while he would set out his plans for taxpayers north of the border on December 12, he pledged he would "choose a fair, more progressive path" than the Conservative Chancellor.
The researcher added that this was "no bonanza" and "many public services are going to feel squeezed for some time to come". Cuts are not about to be reversed.
He also said prisons, schools and local authorities would not have much to celebrate about the new budget and should be preparing for more hard years ahead.
A disorderly Brexit "could have severe short-term implications for the economy, the exchange rate, asset prices and the public finances", warned the Government's independent forecaster.
That is in sharp contrast to the five year "austerity" plan announced in 2010, which saw cuts of 3% a year, and 2015, which included cuts of 1.3% a year.
In a separate interview with Sky News, Mr McDonnell rejected the chancellor's claim that austerity is "finally coming to an end", saying it in fact "rolls on".
As well as giving, there was some taking.