New chancellor, same old smoke and mirrors.
The media has spotted that Alistair Darling has pushed up sin taxes and cut his growth forecast.
What they haven't noticed - because he somehow failed to mention it in his speech - is that the loss in revenue from lower growth is to be made up largely by swingeing cuts in the defence budget.
Buried in the text of the Financial Statement and Budget Report - as usual - is an estimated £5.8bn shortfall in government revenues relative to last autumn's Pre-Budget Report (p. 187), which will largely be made up by a £3.3bn cut in defence spending this year (p. 197).
That's a cut of over 7% from 2007-08.
This is what Darling actually said about defence:
The Defence Budget has seen the longest period of increased spending in a generation.And that's it. While the numbers might very well be technically correct, to suggest that you're increasing spending while hiding the fact that you're actually putting through a massive cut amounts to deception.
This year we again expect to spend over £2 billion more supporting our troops on the front line. Including around £900 million on military equipment.
Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families.
We are deeply proud of the bravery, professionalism, and courage they display in serving our country.
Gordon Brown, of course, pulled exactly the same stunt last year - though admittedly on a less breathtaking scale.
Mr Darling: you have misled the House, deceived the country and betrayed our fighting men and women abroad.
Your master must be proud.