How to upset already grumpy Tory backbenchers?
Give more money to the IMF.
The Chancellor has just confirmed the UK will give just under £10 billion to the IMF. That number is key because it means he doesn't have to return to Parliament to ask its approval as he (only just) is within the limits allowed by Parliament.
But some of his backbenchers are furious. One told me it was "bonkers" another that it was "an extremely cynical and calculating move".
These are what some would call 'the usual suspects'. But at the last vote on the IMF money they were 30-strong.
Add in the real disquiet about the plans to reform the House of Lords, with normally loyal MPs sounding most disloyal and the Tory leadership is finding itself at odds with its MPs on a growing number of issues.
Treasury sources stress this is a loan with interestnot a gift and no country has ever lost money to the IMF. They deny the level was set to avoid having to go back to Parliament, that they could have got approval from MPs if it was needed and this was the right proportion for the UK to pay. As for the critics, they're just a "minority".