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ICAEW: Fiscal headroom an illusion amid unsustainable public finances

Author: ICAEW

Published: 21 Nov 2023

Alison Ring OBE, ICAEW Director of Public Sector and Taxation, commented on the public sector finance release for October 2023 published by the Office for National Statistics today (Tuesday 21 November 2023):

“Although it is positive that the cumulative deficit to October of £98bn is less than the £115bn predicted by the OBR, cash going out continues to exceed cash coming in by a very large margin. Public sector net debt has now exceeded £2.6 trillion for the first time, which is a staggering new record.  

“Tomorrow’s Autumn Statement will see the OBR revise and roll forward its forecast, giving the Chancellor so-called headroom to cut taxes or increase spending. But in reality, there is no headroom when the public finances continue to be on an unsustainable path without a long-term fiscal strategy to fix them.”


Notes to editors:

CONTACT: ICAEW media office stephen.froome@icaew.com or 07970 402 073