“With a small surplus, January’s fiscal numbers benefited from stronger self-assessment tax receipts than expected, providing some comfort to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt as he assembles his first Budget. The deficit for the current financial year is still on track to be one of the highest ever recorded, reaching £117bn for the first 10 months to January 2023 after energy support and interest costs more than offset the benefit of higher tax receipts.
“Although it appears that inflation has peaked, the near-term economic outlook continues to deteriorate and so calls for immediate tax cuts are likely to remain unanswered. We are asking the Chancellor to take urgent action to eliminate the backlog at HMRC that is inhibiting business growth, and to make improving the resilience of the UK economy and the public finances a priority.”
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