Office for Budgetary Responsibility

The good, the bad, and the unpredictable

Kitty Ussher  |  12 April 2016

The threat of Brexit aside, the economy looks set to continue improving, says Kitty Ussher Regardless of the politics of the matter, the main news from last month’s budget is that the economy is in good shape. Of course, that is not to say there is not room for improvement, or that our country is structured …

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Britain cannot afford to be complacent

Angela Eagle MP  |  22 January 2016

As David Cameron arrives at Davos this week for the World Economic Forum he should spend less time rubbing shoulders with celebrities at star-studded parties and give the martinis a miss to focus on another cocktail – what George Osborne has himself suddenly described as the ‘cocktail of threats’ facing Britain. Both Cameron and Osborne …

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Prepare for a Tory tax cut

Stephen Beer  |  2 March 2015

This month will see George Osborne deliver the final budget speech of this parliament. It will be the final budget too of this coalition government. Since this coalition will not survive beyond 7 May, we might see a few formal budget announcements setting the stage for individual party’s election pledges. We should expect to hear …

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Promoting prosperity

Stephen Beer  |  15 February 2015

The UK economy is growing at a relatively fast rate at present. The first estimate of GDP growth in 2014 is that the economy expanded 2.6 per cent. Recent survey data suggest the rate of expansion increased across the economy last month. Lower fuel and food costs are boosting the income households have available to …

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Why we need an SOBR without delay

Pamela Nash  |  19 January 2015

This April, new tax powers are being transferred to the Scottish parliament; and with ‘the vow’ delivered, this will be soon followed by further devolution. It is clear that this must be accompanied by the tools needed to allow the public to scrutinise the use of these powers. The Scottish National party government must establish …

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Tories’ tax cut black hole

Stephen Beer  |  6 January 2015

The new year has begun with a political battle about spending. Labour focused on the deteriorating state of the NHS under this government, highlighting its pledge to inject extra funding to recruit more frontline staff. It was no surprise that the Conservatives focused on the economy and fiscal policy, claiming Labour had made a series …

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Tory plans are simply unrealistic and political

Stephen Beer  |  1 December 2014

The annual autumn statement this Wednesday is not just about the economy, it is very much a political event. Reports that George Osborne plans to introduce a law requiring the government to balance the budget by the middle of the next parliament illustrate that well. There is no economic justification for this. It is a …

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Michael Gove’s first defeat

Alison McGovern MP  |  17 July 2014

As claims to fame go, it is probably not a great one. But I can now claim to be responsible for Michael Gove’s first defeat as chief whip. Yesterday I introduced a very simple bill that would require the Office for Budget Responsibility to audit the major parties’ manifestos. And Gove, maybe concentrating on his …

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Accelerating the pace

Stephen Beer  |  6 December 2013

As usual, the most interesting thing about the chancellor’s autumn statement was the accompanying report from the Office for Budget Responsibility. There was no political gain to be had from any significant policy announcements made now. Promises of tax cuts do remain on the agenda, though driven by a shrinking state since the government still …

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A mixed outlook

Stephen Beer  |  14 November 2013

Any concerns that the economic growth we saw in the summer would not last more than a couple of quarters have been dispelled by recent data. Private sector surveys in October – the purchasing manager indices – point to a further increase in economic activity. The PMI for the services sector, which makes up most …

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