Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

Chancellor George Osborne said he had put fuel into the tank of the British economy1 when he delivered his second Budget on March 23.

Unfortunately, the tank has been running on empty for some time. Growth in gross domestic product has slowed significantly and the Office for Budget Responsibility has reduced its estimate for 2OU from 2.1% to 1.7%.

The OBR also suggested that growth would be lower than previously forecast in 2012.

Osborne confirmed in his Budget Statement that growth that year is now expected to be 2.5% and not 2.6%.

This assessment came in the wake of disappointing figures on the economy and the public finances. A giveaway Budget was never really on the cards, but it was even less so once this news had been digested

In the three months to January 2011, unemployment reached a 17-year high. An extra 27,000 joined the ranks of the unemployed, taking the total figure to 2. …

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