Office for Budget Responsibility says UK government spending plans ‘a very big risk’

Spending plans outlined in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement represent ‘a very big fiscal risk’, according to the UK’s OBR.

Mr Richard Hughes, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that spending plans carried a level of ‘uncertainty’. He suggested that much of the promised spending is funded by projected savings rather than income already received.

Last week, the OBR slashed its forecast for UK economic growth.

In March, the OBR said it expected GDP – a measure of the size and health of a country’s economy – to grow by 1.8% in 2024 and 2.5% in 2025.

Predications cut

Those predictions have now been cut, with a new forecast suggesting the UK economy will grow by 0.7% in 2024 and 1.4% in 2025.

‘It is very difficult to assess the credibility of the government’s spending plans, because after March 2025 the government doesn’t have any spending plans,’ Mr Hughes said, as he and other members of the OBR faced questions on the Autumn Statement.

Tax by stealth

Even though the chancellor announced a cut to NI rates, he opted to leave NI and income tax thresholds untouched, meaning they remain frozen until 2028. By doing this, more workers will fall into the higher tax bracket thus creating larger than expected tax revenue for the treasury. And, as workers secure pay rises, they may end up paying more tax if they are dragged into that higher tax band.

Some 2.2 million more workers now pay the basic rate income tax of 20% compared with three years ago, according to official figures, while 1.6 million more people have found themselves in the 40% tax bracket in the same period.

Just a thought, wasn’t the former UK prime minister ousted because of unfunded projections or was that unfunded tax cuts?

Only saying…

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