IEA economist responds to latest ONS public sector finances data


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Mark Littlewood writes for The Telegraph

Tax and Fiscal Policy
Commenting on the figures, published today by the Office for National Statistics, Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:“Unusually, UK government borrowing was higher than the OBR had expected in November – and is likely to overshoot further in the coming months. Omicron will hit tax revenues and add to the pressures on public spending, while higher inflation will increase the cost of servicing index-linked debt.

“However, this should not prevent the government from providing temporary support to businesses struggling under the weight of new Covid restrictions, and it would not justify further tax increases either.

“The ratio of debt to GDP is back below 100 per cent and borrowing costs remain near historic lows. A stronger economy is still the best way to reduce the burden of debt over time.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715 942 731

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.


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