Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

The public finance figures confirmed that January brought the usual boost to the Treasury's coffers, as self-assessment returns flooded in. The tax collected meant public sector net borrowing was £8.8bn in surplus. This surplus was £2.3bn greater than the 2014 January surplus.

Over the financial year to January, public borrowing was £74bn, a fall of £6bn when compared with the previous year, helped by growth in revenue.

Income tax was up £4.2bn to £135.4bn, VAT up £4.0bn to £104.1bn, corporation tax up £2.4bn to £38.7bn, National Insurance contributions up £1.8bn to £88.5bn and stamp duties up £1.5bn to £11.9bn. Over the same period, central government spent £569.5bn.

Chancellor George Osborne said the January surplus was the largest since the financial crisis, and the government was on track to meet its forecast to halve the deficit as a proportion of GDP compared to 2009/10.

'Coming in a week when we have seen the employment rate reach record highs while the inflation rate reached record lows, [the] good news is further proof that the government's long-term economic plan is working,' he added. …

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