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ICAEW responds to January 2020 public finance figures

Friday 21 February 2020. Friday 21 February 2020. ICAEW comments on the public sector finances for January 2020, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Commenting on the latest public sector finances for January 2020, published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Alison Ring, ICAEW Public Sector Director, said: 

“A small increase of £1.3bn in self-assessment tax receipts in January was insufficient to prevent a £5.8bn increase to £44.8bn in the deficit for the ten months to January as higher public spending more than outpaced receipts.

“With headwinds from a weak economy and trade uncertainty, the immediate challenge for the Chancellor in his Budget next month will be to balance the adoption of credible fiscal rules with investing more into public services and building infrastructure outside London and the South East.

“However, much more important will be the extent to which the Chancellor can articulate a vision for the public finances. Successive governments have failed to develop a long-term fiscal strategy to address the costs of more people living longer and, without a clear plan to put the public finances onto a sustainable footing, the choices available to this and future Chancellors will become ever more constrained.”

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