By John Smith • 18 March 2021 • 17:34
Rishi Sunak with his red budget dispatch box
Credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street flickr
THE UK Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) considers that it has found a £4 billion (€4.5 billion) ‘black hole’ in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March budget figures.
It says that the budget was not short of spending announcements primarily aimed at support for individuals and businesses who have been adversely affected by the pandemic but little was said about spending on public services.
Most of the decisions about this were made in the November spending review but the IFS suggests that buried in the Budget document and unmentioned in the Chancellor’s speech to the House, was a £4 billion a year cut to departments’ non-virus budgets from 2022−23 onwards, on top of the £10 to £13 billion cut from those spending plans in November.
Whilst the Office for Budget Responsibility announced that overall cuts for so called ‘unprotected departments’ amounted to just 1 per cent, the IFS insists that the cuts amount to at least 3 per cent and possibly more.
There seem to be two options, either increase taxation or allow the cuts to go ahead which could hurt the Government’s reputation if the amount is as large as the IFS believes.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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