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ICAEW responds to June 2021 public sector finance figures

Author: ICAEW

Published: 21 Jul 2021

Wednesday 21 July: The Office for National Statistics has released the monthly public finance figures for June 2021, looking at changes in the UK’s debt and deficit.

Commenting on the figures, Alison Ring, ICAEW Public Sector Director, said:

“Public sector net debt has risen by £420bn since the first lockdown in March 2020, making the public finances more vulnerable to changes in interest rates and reducing the fiscal headroom available to the Chancellor as he seeks to navigate the economy out of the pandemic.

“Rumours that Rishi Sunak is considering cutting investment plans and delaying the Budget and departmental Spending Reviews are concerning. It is important that the baby of borrowing sensibly to fund much-needed investment in infrastructure is not thrown out with the bathwater of post-pandemic spending restraint.

“Central and local government desperately need budget certainty so they can plan, even if there are some adjustments next year when we all hope the pandemic will have run its course. The last full Spending Review was in 2015; it’s important that we end the cycle of deferral and delay and restore financial discipline to the government’s budgeting.”