It is always good to begin with some ‘good news’. The UK government recorded an unexpectedly large budget surplus in January, with revenues exceeding spending by £5.4 billion. This was £5.0 billion better than forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). It would be daft to focus on just one month’s figures, but this … Continue reading Latest misses show the danger of relying too much on OBR forecasts
Category: Fiscal Policy
Did the Truss/Kwarteng mini-Budget really cost the country £ [insert gigantic number here] billion?
Speculation that Liz Truss is about to make to return to frontline politics has prompted a flurry of dodgy claims and daft statistics about the economic cost of last September’s mini-Budget. Here's a quick debunking of the most common. I’ll start with the biggest number: £74 billion (sometimes cited as £73 billion). This appears to … Continue reading Did the Truss/Kwarteng mini-Budget really cost the country £ [insert gigantic number here] billion?
Are we becoming too dependent on the state?
I have to tip my hat to Civitas. The ‘Tufton Street’ think tank made quite a splash on Monday, including bagging the front page of the Daily Mail, with two striking claims. One was that over half of UK households now receive more in benefits from the government than they pay in tax. The other … Continue reading Are we becoming too dependent on the state?
The Treasury should look again at a simple option to save on debt interest
The latest monthly data on the UK’s public finances included the first of many payments from the Treasury to cover losses made by the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility (APF). This may seem like an arcane subject, but the sums are huge and at least partly avoidable, so bear with me. First, the technical … Continue reading The Treasury should look again at a simple option to save on debt interest