UP HE jumped, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

And I’m not talking about the Prime Minister, but his newly appointed Chancellor.

Belying his youth and inexperience, Rishi Sunak gave an accomplished performance on Wednesday, balancing both the threat of coronavirus and honouring our manifesto pledges.

He sounded assured at a time when the nation faces an unprecedented threat, promising £30 billion for the fight against the virus and to support the NHS, small businesses, employers and workers, who will undoubtedly feel its impact in the weeks ahead.

On our electoral pledges, the budget was aimed at levelling up in every part of the Union, backing roads, rail, housing, broadband, skills and research and development.

Those who enjoy the occasional tipple will be delighted Mr Sunak froze duty on spirits, wine and beer, while cutting rates for publicans.

To the relief of most of us who rely on our cars, fuel duty was again frozen.

Again, farmers, fishermen and the railways will be smiling that the entitlement on red diesel remains, while abolishing it for the construction industry, a significant polluter.

And he gave 31 million taxpayers some relief from National Insurance.

It amounts to what the Office of Budget Responsibility says is the longest sustained fiscal boost in 30 years, yet keeps the Government within its fiscal rules, with a projected lower debt by the end of the Parliament.

There was much else to be welcomed, with Mr Sunak reminding us that leaving the EU had made such largesse possible, and on a continuing basis.

Like me, you are probably wondering whether this injection of capital is affordable.

Only time will answer that question, but I do believe the unusual circumstances demand this stimulus.

If the business community adopts the same can-do attitude as the Chancellor, the future is bright.