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Photo of Sir Chris Kelly

Sir Chris Kelly re-appointed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that Sir Chris Kelly has been re-appointed as a non-executive member of the OBR and Oversight Board chair. Sir Christopher Kelly said: “I am delighted to be re-appointed as the Chair of the Oversight Board of the Office for Budget Responsibility. The role of the OBR is as…

Treasury announces candidate for next Chair of the OBR

The Chancellor has nominated Richard Hughes as the next Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility when Robert Chote ends his final term in October. The appointment is subject to approval from the TSC. Robert Chote commented: “I am delighted that the Chancellor has nominated Richard Hughes to succeed me as Chairman of the OBR…

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

Budget deficit leaps to £62 billion in April 2020 alone

April’s public finances data provide an initial taste of the fiscal hit from the coronavirus lockdown and Government support for individuals and businesses. Tax payments received by HMRC were down 42 per cent on the same month last year, while central government spending jumped 52 per cent. As a result, the budget deficit was the…

Logo celebrating 10th anniversary of the Office for Budget Responsibility

OBR celebrates its 10th anniversary

Robert Chote thanks the OBR’s staff, alumni, contributors and stakeholders in a video on its 10th anniversary. Robert Chote thanks the OBR’s staff, alumni, contributors and stakeholders on its 10th anniversary 🎂#10yearsofOBR pic.twitter.com/hf5Mr5eaq0 — Office for Budget Responsibility (@OBR_UK) May 14, 2020

Line chart showing cumulative public sector net borrowing

March HMRC cash receipts fall 5 per cent on last year

Some initial effects of the unfolding coronavirus shock to the public finances are visible in the March cash data. Receipts fell sharply – particularly VAT, where payments have been deferred. Spending increased, in part due to the cost of business support measures. These effects have yet to feed through to the headline accruals measure of…

Stacked bar chart showing tax-to-GDP ratio rose fractionally between 2007-08 and 2018-19 but the compositional changes were much greater

Evolution of receipts over the past decade

We have published a new paper studying the evolution of tax revenues and other sources of government income between 2007-08 and 2018-19 – respectively the last full year before the financial crisis and the last full year before the coronavirus crisis.

Line chart showing how a three-month lockdown could see output fall by a third this quarter

Coronavirus lockdown to deliver large (but hopefully temporary) shock to the economy and public finances

In addition to its impact on public health, the coronavirus outbreak will substantially raise public sector net borrowing and debt, primarily reflecting economic disruption. The Government’s policy response will also have substantial direct budgetary costs, but the measures should help limit the long-term damage to the economy and public finances – the costs of inaction…

Policy costings document March 2020

March 2020 All policy costings presented to the Office for Budget Responsibility at Budget 2018 were scrutinised and were certified as reasonable, central estimates were included in our forecasts. The Government’s Budget 2020 policy costings document briefly describes the methodologies underpinning these costings. In our March 2020 Economic and fiscal outlook we have published an…

Line chart comparing Budget policy packages between 1992 and 2020 to show that the Budget 2020 policy package is the biggest since 1992

Largest Budget giveaway since 1992

The Chancellor has announced the largest sustained fiscal loosening since Norman Lamont’s pre-election Budget in 1992. In the medium term, this takes real day-to-day spending per person back to pre-austerity levels. But the domestic effects of the coronavirus outbreak and the Government’s response to it came too late to include in our forecasts, which are…

5 things you need to know about our forecast: Pre-measures forecast closed in mid-February as usual. So recent coronavirus developments not reflected. Largest Budget package since 1992 adds £29 billion to borrowing in 2024-25. Budget completes reversal of Coalition departmental spending cuts. Some legislated targets missed, but Budget 2020 targets met.

Overview of the March 2020 Economic and fiscal outlook

In addition to its impact on public health, the coronavirus is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the economy and public finances in coming quarters. But neither the size nor the duration of this effect are possible to predict with any confidence. The Chief Medical Officer has declared that an epidemic in the…

January surplus down on a year earlier

Very strong spending growth outweighed strong receipts growth this month, leaving the usual January surplus smaller than it was a year ago. But, over the first ten months of 2019-20, borrowing continues to rise relative to the same period year, albeit at a slower pace than is implied by our latest full-year forecast.  

Magnifying glass graphic

Treasury launches search for new Chair of the OBR

Today the Treasury has launched the recruitment campaign to find Robert Chote’s successor as the next Chair of the OBR. Robert has led the independent fiscal watchdog since 3 October 2010, and is therefore approaching the end of his second and final five-year term. The chair and other members of the Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) are…