Commenting on the public sector borrowing figures released today by the Office for National Statistics, Alison Ring, ICAEW Public Sector Director, said:
“Last month registered the second-highest July deficit on record, which further emphasises the weak fiscal foundations underpinning the upcoming three-year Spending Review in October.
“There is a difficult choice to be made on the state pension, which at over £105bn a year is the second largest individual item in the public sector budget after the NHS. Sticking with the triple lock formula could make a significant contribution to increasing pensioner incomes, but would reduce the amount available for public services by tens of billions of pounds over the coming decade.
“While there is borrowing capacity to fund temporary spending needs such as tackling the NHS waiting list backlog, the Chancellor has some very tough decisions to make the public finances more sustainable. It remains to be seen if he can restrain growth in overall public spending and maintain manifesto commitments to not raise the main rates of tax, while delivering on social care reform and other long-term pledges.”
Notes to editors:
Chartered accountants are talented, ethical and committed professionals. There are more than 1.8m chartered accountants and students in the world, and more than 187,800 of them are members and students of ICAEW. All of the top 100 global brands employ chartered accountants.*
Founded in 1880, ICAEW has a long history of serving the public interest and we continue to work with governments, regulators and business leaders globally. And, as a world-leading improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 12,000 firms, holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competency and conduct.
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* Source: CAW, 2020 – Interbrand, Best Global Brands 2019