Other news

Spending pressures threaten sustainability of the public finances

Our latest long-term projections again show that the ageing population and healthcare cost pressures threaten the sustainability of the public finances. The outlook is worse than last year, thanks largely to the Government’s as-yet unfunded announcement of extra health spending last month. Read the 2018 Fiscal sustainability report

Book cover of Fiscal sustainability report

Spending pressures threaten sustainability of the public finances

Our latest long-term projections again show that the ageing population and healthcare cost pressures threaten the sustainability of the public finances. The outlook is worse than last year, thanks largely to the Government’s as-yet unfunded announcement of extra health spending last month.

Borrowing continues to fall

Borrowing in May was down on last year, although this reflects spending data that are still very provisional. Borrowing for 2017-18 was revised down further, but again full outturns will not be available until at least September.

Senior appointments to the OBR

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has nominated Andy King to join the OBR’s Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) and Bronwyn Curtis OBE to join the OBR’s oversight board as a non-executive member.

Underspending pushes deficit lower

Last year’s budget deficit has been revised £2 billion lower to £40.5 billion, with departments thought to have undershot their spending limits by more than originally estimated. But the figures are still liable to significant further revision.

OBR could incorporate Brexit agreement in a December forecast

At the request of the Treasury Committee, the OBR has confirmed that it should be able to incorporate an October EU exit agreement in an early December Budget forecast, updating its existing Brexit assumptions as necessary. But it is not clear how firm or detailed the agreement will be and important policy questions are bound…

Provisional estimate shows 2017-18 borrowing lower than forecast

Public sector net borrowing in 2017-18 is provisionally estimated at £42.6 billion, £2.5 billion lower than we forecast at the Spring Statement in March. Lower-than-expected local authority borrowing more than explains that difference, but firm outturn data on that will not be available before September.

Spring Statement 2018 – modest cyclical upgrade to economic and fiscal outlook

We have revised GDP growth up a little in the near term thanks to a stronger world economy, but the medium-term outlook is little changed. And we have revised borrowing down thanks to stronger receipts, but the improvement is largely cyclical. So headroom against the Government’s fiscal targets is virtually unchanged from the autumn.

Overview of the March 2018 Economic and fiscal outlook

Relatively little time has passed since our November forecast and the outlook for the economy and public finances looks broadly the same. The economy has slightly more momentum in the near term, thanks to the unexpected strength of the world economy, but there seems little reason to change our view of its medium-term growth potential….

Strong receipts point to lower full-year borrowing

January is the biggest month of the year for tax receipts. Self-assessment income tax receipts fell on a year earlier, but by much less than our November forecast assumed. Uncertainty remains – especially around local authority borrowing – but it is now clear that 2017-18 borrowing will be lower than we forecast in November.

Overview of the January 2018 Welfare trends report

The introduction of universal credit (UC) is one of the most significant reforms to the welfare system since the Beveridge Report. It will replace six existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, paying more than £60 billion a year to around 7 million households by the time it is fully rolled…

Will UC save money?

The introduction of Universal Credit is forecast to reduce welfare spending by about £1bn a year by 2022-23. But the fiscal impact is much more uncertain than that suggests, according to our latest Welfare trends report.

Supplementary forecast information release

Since the publication of our November 2017 Economic and fiscal outlook we have received a request for further detail underlying our long-term economic determinants. We have published this new supplementary forecast information on the November 2017 EFO page.