ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Chancellor at risk of dropping economic ball, says ICAEW

Wednesday 21 December 2016, Commenting on the Public Sector Finances for November 2016, published today by the ONS, Ross Campbell, ICAEW Public Sector Director, said:

“The OBR’s borrowing forecast of £55.5bn in 2016 gives the Chancellor a mere £6.9bn room for manoeuvre for the rest of the year, a financial target that is unsurprisingly going to be breached before the current financial year ends in April. While Philip Hammond announced a relaxation of his fiscal targets in last month’s Autumn Statement, meaning that a projected £21 billion deficit will remain in 2020-21, it illustrates that this is a problem that is not going to go away any time soon. This demonstrates the vital need for stronger financial management expertise at the heart of government.”

“Now, more than ever, the Chancellor needs to keep his eye firmly on the economic ball. His promise to supply more funding for infrastructure projects across the country has the potential to inject some much-needed confidence into the UK, however these projects can only be successfully delivered if he is supported by a strong team that has the right mix of professional, financial and commercial skills.”

“We continue to hear of the exodus from Government of experienced senior finance professionals. In these uncertain times, it’s imperative that the Civil Service has the right skills to tackle the deficit, restore confidence and devise a robust and financially sound plan to get the public finances back into the black. Without a focus on the professional skills needed to do the job, and especially for senior finance roles, the Government is in a real danger of dropping the ball.”

Media enquiries

Please direct all media inquiries related to this article to:

Caroline Florence - ICAEW press office
Tel: +44 (0) 207 920 8564
Email: Caroline.florence@icaew.com