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Treasury committee says government fiscal objective has ‘no credibility’

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Treasury Committee has published its report on Budget 2018, calling into question the government’s fiscal objective of returning the public finances to balance during the next Parliament.

In announcing increased funding for the NHS, the chancellor appears to have disregarded this objective, which the committee now views as having ‘no credibility’. The report calls upon the government to replace its fiscal plans before the next Budget ‘with something that accurately reflects government policy and priorities, which clearly do not include running a budget surplus’.

The committee also took issue with the chancellor’s description of any boost to economic growth following a withdrawal agreement with the EU as a ‘deal dividend’. The Office for Budget Responsibility found the reference to a dividend ‘odd’, since what this would really represent is merely the benefit of ‘avoiding something really very bad’.

Chair of the Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, said: ‘The great cloud of uncertainty hanging over Budget 2018 was Brexit. And as the Chancellor has said, a new Budget may be needed in the event of no-deal’.

Morgan described the chancellor’s claims that austerity is coming to an end as ‘expansive and imprecise’ and called on him to set this out in ‘more measurable terms’ at the next Budget and comprehensive spending review. See

Issue: 1431
Categories: News