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ICAEW: Public finances show April deficit high but position could improve

Author: ICAEW

Published: 23 May 2023

Alison Ring, ICAEW Director of Public Sector and Taxation, comments on the public sector finance release by the Office for National Statistics today (Tuesday 23 May 2023):

“The first monthly release in a new financial year – which is what today’s numbers show - usually provides only limited insight into the UK’s fiscal position, even though at £26bn the reported deficit for April is the second highest since records began. Nevertheless, the Chancellor will be expecting the position to improve in subsequent months, giving him some room for manoeuvre ahead of what is likely to be a tax-cutting pre-election Budget either this autumn or next spring.

“Unfortunately, there are good reasons why taxes typically go up in the first Budget following a general election, irrespective of which party is in charge. Tax rises are even more likely this time around given low levels of economic growth, historically high levels of public debt, ongoing demographic change and the significant cost pressures facing many of our public services.”


Notes to editors:

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