RISHI’S rabbit had Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is a well fed figure, rocking with pride on the green benches beside the Chancellor: up to 50 per cent off meals out in pubs and restaurants in the month of August.

The headlines will be all about “Rishi’s dishes”, and it shows what unprecedented times we live in: the Conservatives, once the party of the free market whose austerity policies of the last decade are accused of causing the rise in foodbank usage, are now intervening so deeply in the market that they are subsidising people to eat out.

Mr Sunak’s update was all about the here and now. It was about ending the furlough scheme and getting people back into work. It was about getting people, who have been locked down in their homes for three months, out and about and spending.

It was not about the “levelling up” agenda, in which great infrastructure spending was promised to the people of the North-East at the election. Building roads and houses takes several years; with thousands of people losing their jobs every day, the Richmond MP was trying to provide immediate help.

There are critics aplenty: the green grants, for instance, aren’t really a comprehensive plan for Britain to transform itself into a low carbon economy.

Will the cut in stamp duty see the prices of houses fall? Will the cut in VAT in the hospitality sector be passed on to the consumers, or will it be gobbled up by the pubs and the attractions whose backs are already up against the wall?

Indeed, the “eat out to help out” scheme has its critics: it is only available for 13 early weekdays in August, so probably won’t help very much. It is, though, a reminder to people to get out and eat out from a government which in late March shut down every restaurant with only a few hours’ notice.

At a time when every single sector of the UK economy is hurting, Mr Sunak cannot have helped everybody, but he took Government spending on the crisis to over £200bn – again an unprecedented level.

And he stayed firm that the furlough scheme will come to an end in October – many critics feel that the way to prevent job losses in badly hit sectors would be to extend it.

In all the headlines about Rishi’s dishes and the creation of “kickstarter” jobs for the young, perhaps the significance of one sentence in Mr Sunak’s short statement will be overlooked. He said: “Over the medium term we must and we will put our public finances back on a sustainable footing.”

One day, we will have to pay for all these tax cuts and bonuses and grants.

Mr Sunak is probably the only Government minister who has had a good coronavirus crisis. With his speedy furlough scheme, his stock has risen. But, in the long term, he has the most difficult job of all: footing the bill.

Perhaps we should all get out and stuff ourselves silly on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays in August, because when the bill comes for the coronavirus crisis as a whole, Britain is going to be paying for many years to come.