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....But unemployment remains at a 42-year low, a drop in imports has narrowed Britain’s trade deficit and the pound’s renewed weakness has boosted the FTSE 100 by flattering the performance of companies that operate overseas and report their earnings in dollars. The deficit on public finances narrowed in May but is expected to widen this year as Philip Hammond grapples with spending demands in the wake of the election shock. ... [Read full article on Guardian ]
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....”. The thinktank said the government needed to take into account the “unrepeatable” property and pensions windfalls as it made plans to deal with the pressures on the public finances as the baby boomer generation retires. ... [Read full article on Guardian ]
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. The government’s spending deficit is on course to worsen this year as official figures show the economic slowdown is beginning to take a toll on the UK’s public finances. ... [Read full article on Guardian ]
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Latest Finance News related to Public Finance

Brexit economy: UK faces slowdown amid living standards squeeze image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 22nd of June 2017 11:01:36 AM
....But unemployment remains at a 42-year low, a drop in imports has narrowed Britain’s trade deficit and the pound’s renewed weakness has boosted the FTSE 100 by flattering the performance of companies that operate overseas and report their earnings in dollars. The deficit on public finances narrowed in May but is expected to widen this year as Philip Hammond grapples with spending demands in the wake of the election shock. ...
Property owners' £2.3tn windfall 'has created huge inequality gap' image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 20th of June 2017 05:01:01 AM
....”. The thinktank said the government needed to take into account the “unrepeatable” property and pensions windfalls as it made plans to deal with the pressures on the public finances as the baby boomer generation retires. ...
Philip Hammond under pressure to spend to lure voters back to Tories image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Saturday 17th of June 2017 03:00:41 PM
....Philip Hammond is resisting Theresa May’s demands for an end to austerity amid Treasury concerns that loosening the purse strings will lead to a black hole in the government’s finances. The chancellor has used discussions with the prime minister since the election to press the case for a cautious approach to the public finances, despite the widespread view among Conservative MPs that seven years of spending cuts and pay restraint handed seats to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. ...
Austerity has strangled the British economy. Only Labour gets this | Joseph Stiglitz image
.... So not only does it create jobs once: the investment creates jobs multiple times. The result of that is that the economy grows by a multiple of the initial spending, and public finances turn out to be stronger: as the economy grows, fiscal revenues increase, and demands for the government to pay unemployment benefits, or fund social programmes to help the poor and needy, go down. ...
Far from ‘strong and stable’, May’s economic plan is weak and unstable image
....9% a year over the course of the next parliament. By contrast, the consultancy noted that “the more expansionary policies proposed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats would offer better outcomes in terms of GDP growth and allow monetary policy to be normalised sooner, without putting the public finances under strain. ...
Brighter skies over eurozone as growth and employment pick up image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Saturday 27th of May 2017 03:00:30 PM
....He sees a number of causes of the recent strength, including a revival in global growth; improved domestic demand; signs that capital spending is making a comeback; and sharp declines in youth unemployment. In the longer term there will be further support from member nations’ public finances being in better shape, giving governments more space to shore up the recovery, he adds. ...
IFS makes damning assessment of Tory and Labour manifestos image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 26th of May 2017 08:37:33 AM
....The Tory commitment to get net migration down to the tens of thousands risked harming the economy, particularly when coupled with the ageing British population, Emmerson said. “Their continued focus on reducing immigration would, if effective, cause considerable economic damage as well as creating an additional problem for the public finances”. ...
London economy subsidises rest of UK, ONS figures show image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 10:26:10 AM
....London’s thriving economy generates a £26. 5bn surplus that is recycled by the government to provide financial help to Britain’s less well-off regions, according to an official breakdown of the public finances. ...
How can Macron unite Europe? He could start with its armies | Hans-Werner Sinn image
.... No one who wants to build a union for peace can afford to permit, much less encourage, such an outcome. •Hans-Werner Sinn is a professor of economics and public finance at the University of Munich, was president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economic affairs ministry’s advisory council. ...
Government borrowing at three-year April high image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 09:24:08 AM
....3bn in the financial year, which will end in March 2018. Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to economic forecasting group EY ITEM Club, said: "The new fiscal year began on a disappointing note for the public finances. ...
Growth slump as rising prices slowed consumer spending, figures to show image
.... “If anything the risks look to be slightly slanted to the downside rather than the upside,” he said. Separate ONS data due on Tuesday will give the first insight into the state of the public finances after the new fiscal year got underway in April. ...
Forget Brexit, the real challenge is creating enough wealth for an ageing population image
.... Leaving simply means that the challenge cannot be ducked as it has been in the past. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has highlighted the extent of the demographic pressures and what they mean for the public finances. ...
May's manifesto is birth of third way Conservatism image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 18th of May 2017 01:15:48 PM
.... Gordon Brown used to talk about “prudence for a purpose”; May adopts a similar approach. Sound public finances are not an end in themselves but are the foundation of a successful economy. ...
Hard Brexit would cost us £500m a year, says oil and gas industry image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 3rd of May 2017 02:09:22 PM
....The UK oil industry has contributed £190bn to the Treasury since the 1960s, not adjusted for inflation, but prospects for the coming few years are uncertain, and oil majors have begun to sell North Sea assets to smaller, independent players. Falling production and tax relief for decommissioning old rigs caused a net drain on public finances last year, costing the exchequer £396m. ...
UK needs £15bn in cuts or tax rises to clear deficit by 2022, says IFS image
. It will take an extra £15bn of spending cuts or tax rises to eliminate the budget deficit by the time of the 2022 election, a leading thinktank has said as it laid bare the damaging legacy of the financial crisison UK living standards and public finances. ...
Hero's legacy image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 30th of April 2017 12:07:14 AM
....The future is fraught with challenges for the foundation. All the work it does with schools needs to be approved by state and city governments, but public finances are collapsing in Brazil thanks to the recession. ...
Good and bad news from an economy in uncharted territory image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Saturday 29th of April 2017 03:00:02 PM
.... That was a 28% drop from the previous year and the lowest gap since the eve of the financial crisis, helped by strong tax receipts as the economy continued to grow in the months following the Brexit vote. But details of the most recent public finance figures suggest the government faces tough challenges to bring down the deficit further. ...
UK government borrowing at lowest level since 2008 financial crisis image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 25th of April 2017 10:39:40 AM
....Borrowing fell by £20bn to £52bn in the 2016-17 financial year after economic growth helped drive tax receipts higher, narrowing the gap between what the government spends and earns. It was the lowest level of annual borrowing since 2007-08, according to the Office for National Statistics, before the full impact of the financial crisis was reflected in the public finances. ...
Government deficit at lowest since financial crisis, says ONS image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 25th of April 2017 09:21:26 AM
....6% of gross domestic product in the latest financial year, in line with the OBR's forecast. The hole in the UK's public finances has shrunk since hitting a peak of nearly 10% of GDP shortly after the global financial crisis. ...
A hasty election before Britain sees the hard truth of Brexit image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Sunday 23rd of April 2017 05:59:05 AM
.... Given that exports are 20% of our gross domestic product, “the net effect would be to reduce UK GDP by around 4%”. At a time when Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is warning that the pressures on the public finances are enormous, and posing serious implications for the nation’s taxable capacity, the implications of a suicidal abandonment of our main export market are immense. ...
Philip Hammond signals ditching of Tory 'no tax rise' pledge image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 21st of April 2017 12:58:04 PM
.... Insiders told the Guardian that senior Tories believe they could lose 10 to 15 seats to the Liberal Democrats in the snap June general election. Hammond, whose revenue-raising plan targeting the self-employed had to be dropped within a week as a result of the 2015 tax triple pledge, said he wanted more flexibility to put the public finances back into shape. ...
George Osborne: history will not be kind to a man whose flaws led to Brexit image
....He capitalised on victory in 2015 by announcing a fresh assault on the deficit. There would be fresh cuts in spending by government departments and £12bn of additional welfare cuts in order to put the public finances back in the black by the end of the parliament. ...
North Sea oil and gas industry cost UK taxpayer £396m in 2016 image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 4th of April 2017 12:25:40 PM
. Britain’s North Sea oil and gas industry was a net drain on the UK’s public finances for the first time last year, as the slump in the oil price hit company profits. ...
Credit Suisse embroiled in major global tax evasion investigation image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 31st of March 2017 08:17:57 AM
.... Investigators have found “several thousand” bank accounts opened in Switzerland by French taxpayers who are suspected of having failed to declare them to the authorities. “The international dimension of these kind of frauds, which are particularly damaging to the public finances, justifies an efficient coordination between european and international countries,” the financial prosecutor’s office said in a statement. ...
Brexit economy: UK faces squeeze on living standards image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 24th of March 2017 10:30:30 AM
....But the housing market appears to have escaped the post-referendum downturn that some commentators were predicting and though consumer spending slowed at the turn of the year, it recovered somewhat last month. There is also evidence that Britain’s trade performance has been boosted by the pound’s fall since the referendum and strong tax receipts have helped improve the state of the public finances. ...
State pension age must rise again, says report image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 23rd of March 2017 06:11:18 AM
....Cridland’s report said an increase to 68 had already been legislated for in the Pensions Act 2007, but since then life expectancy projections had changed. It added: “Forward projections for the public finances suggest that they are, and will continue to be, under pressure. ...
Why becoming a tax haven would be bad news for Britain image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 06:30:42 PM
.... Singapore has national debt of more than 100% of GDP, which is much more than the UK. Jersey is struggling to fill a black hole in its public finances. ...
Government borrowing falls in February image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 21st of March 2017 11:02:34 AM
.... . "Furthermore, an appreciable budget deficit is still seen existing in 2021-22 so there is still work to be done then on getting the public finances back to full health. ...
Lord King: Scotland 'could be independent' image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Monday 20th of March 2017 09:34:16 PM
. Scotland "could be an independent country" but would risk a hit to its public finances, the ex-governor of the Bank of England has said. ...
The Ronald, the Donald – and a hamstrung Hammond image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Sunday 19th of March 2017 06:59:01 AM
....All Hammond can hope for is that the assessment of recent weeks that Trump is a benign force, who will neither emulate Reagan nor be a disaster, turns out to be true. Given the parlous state of the UK’s public finances after eight years of austerity, he needs all the help he can get. ...
Hammond's NICs U-turn is a political disaster for the government | Larry Elliott image
....These were valid points, just as they were a week ago. Hammond’s proposal was supported by the Resolution Foundation, which is run by Torsten Bell, a former aide to Ed Miliband, and by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the country’s foremost authority when it comes to anything to do with the public finances. ...
Budget deficit beyond 2025 warns spending watchdog image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Monday 13th of March 2017 09:26:55 PM
. The Government may struggle to meet its target of clearing the deficit in public finances by 2025 according to the official spending watchdog. ...
The Scottish economy has strengths – but could it make a success of independence? | Larry Elliott image
....But the 2014 campaign threw up serious weaknesses in the economic case for independence and these will need to be addressed. The most obvious issue is that the oil price has halved since the 2014 poll, making Scotland’s public finances after independence look far less rosy. ...
No rights, more tax: this is Conservative ‘fairness’ for the self-employed | Frances O’Grady image
....5bn by 2021-22. But these changes in national insurance rates and universal credit don’t do anything to tackle the two main problems that 21st-century self-employment is causing for workers and the public finances. ...
No pay rise for 15 years, IFS warns UK workers image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 9th of March 2017 08:57:23 AM
.... This remains the big story of the last decade – a decade without growth, a decade without precedent in the UK in modern times,” he said. The IFS noted the OBR’s forecasts for the public finances left the UK on course to borrow £20bn in 2020, which is £30bn more than intended a year ago. ...
Budget 2017: Squeeze on family finances 'extended until 2020s' image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Thursday 9th of March 2017 07:40:05 AM
. The squeeze on both family and public finances have been prolonged until well into the 2020s, according to a think tank's analysis of the Budget. ...
UK economy will grow 2% this year but slow next, OBR predicts image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 8th of March 2017 07:58:42 PM
.... But the result in five years’ time was roughly the same in terms of where the economy would end up. The more significant changes were on the public finance forecasts, with the OBR now expecting the government to borrow significantly less this financial year. ...
UK growth forecast for 2017 revised up image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 8th of March 2017 02:12:25 PM
.... . "The government does not appear to be on track to meet its stated fiscal objective to 'return the public finances to balance at the earliest possible date in the next Parliament'. ...
Budget will hold no big surprises on spending or tax, chancellor says image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 8th of March 2017 06:33:22 AM
....Philip Hammond has played down the significance of the spring budget and denied he plans to surprise parliament with big spending plans or tax reforms. This was always going to be a “just in case” budget, only bursting into life should the public finances need rescuing from a further slowdown in the economy. ...
Taxes for self-employed likely to rise in Hammond's budget image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 7th of March 2017 08:05:27 PM
....But the chancellor believes that as a quid pro quo, the self-employed should be prepared to pay more tax. Hammond is keen to examine how the public finances will be affected by long-term trends in the economy and the labour market. ...
Hammond gets budget boost as OECD upgrades UK growth forecast image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 7th of March 2017 10:00:39 AM
.... It also highlighted rapid house price growth in the UK and other countries as a potential warning sign of another economic downturn. The thinktank’s upgrade for the UK came ahead of the chancellor’s spring budget on Wednesday, when he is expected to unveil a brighter outlook for the economy and public finances while making the case that he must keep back any extra money to help the UK weather uncertainties from the Brexit process. ...
Hammond urged to tackle 'catastrophic' effect of rising inflation image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 6th of March 2017 01:13:37 PM
....The group is calling on the chancellor to reverse cuts to universal credit – inherited from the previous Tory administration – that were part of the reason that Iain Duncan Smith resigned as work and pensions secretary. Bell said the money could be found without undermining public finances by stopping planned reductions to inheritance, corporation and income tax worth billions of pounds because they “overwhelmingly benefit better-off households”. ...
Budget 2017: Hammond to tell us the Brexit vote could have been worse image
.... Defying all the doomsayers who said a vote to leave could prompt a recession, consumers carried on spending and businesses continued to expand. The picture for the public finances is also looking rosier compared with Hammond’s maiden autumn statement in November. ...
Spring budget 2017: drop in government borrowing predicted image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 28th of February 2017 12:01:13 AM
....But as several reports on Tuesday point to a squeeze on household finances, the thinktank warned Hammond that the economic outlook remained uncertain and that he must use his budget to wean the economy off its reliance on consumer spending. “Alongside the significant challenge of the public finances, Philip Hammond should focus on the sober task of addressing some of the UK’s big structural problems,” said Matt Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation. ...
NHS faces £1bn annual bill after 'reckless' change to injury payouts image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 27th of February 2017 10:45:09 AM
.... This obviously affects insurers, but also organisations including the NHS, the armed forces and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which is liable for claims against uninsured drivers,” he said. “Ultimately, these increased costs will be funded by policyholders and already overstretched public finances. ...
Welfare funds must serve 'really disabled' people, says MP image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Sunday 26th of February 2017 06:35:35 PM
....McDonnell said the announcement about the changes to PIP had been “sneaked out” by the prime minister during the by-election campaigns last Thursday. “Next week the Tories will make out that the economy and the public finances are doing better, however, they are planning to go ahead with a £3. ...
'The economy looks set to be slowing again' – experts debate Brexit watch data image
....The pattern of economic data for the last two quarters of last year was quite clear – stronger than expected growth driven by consumer spending and a resilient global economy. The relatively good figures for public finances reflect that picture as tax receipts are generally a lagging economic indicator. ...
UK government surplus gives Philip Hammond pre-budget boost image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 21st of February 2017 01:33:43 PM
....However, the surplus for January 2017 nudged only £300m higher than the same month last year, which was less than City economists had expected. Yael Selfin, chief UK economist at KPMG, said the stronger January public finances figures could see government net borrowing well below the OBR’s November figure, though it was unlikely to sink back to the £55bn level foreseen in March last year. ...
UK borrowing and growth better than expected for budget, says report image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 20th of February 2017 07:00:31 AM
.... EY said the watchdog was unlikely to make any substantial changes to its longer term forecasts, owing to the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s future status outside the EU. Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: “The OBR will paint a marginally better picture of the UK economy and public finances in the short term, but fiscal policy faces major challenges on both the revenue and spending sides in the longer term. ...
Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 14th of February 2017 07:01:36 AM
....“The huge rise in insecure work isn’t just bad for workers. It’s punching a massive hole in the public finances too,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. ...
Trump presidency poses threat to global economy, warns Fitch image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 10th of February 2017 04:37:52 PM
....Key risks, from Fitch’s perspective, included possible disruptions to trade relations, limits on migration that affect the amount of money foreign workers in the US send home, and “confrontational exchanges” between policymakers that could spark swings in currencies and other financial markets. “The materialisation of these risks would provide an unfavourable backdrop for economic growth, putting pressure on public finances that may have rating implications for some sovereigns,” the ratings agency added. ...
UK tax burden will soar to highest level for 30 years, warns IFS image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 7th of February 2017 10:00:11 AM
....But slower economic growth after the Brexit vote and lower than expected tax receipts will still leave the UK with one of the largest shortfalls in public spending in the developed world, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The leading tax and spending thinktank said downgrades in GDP growth over the next four years would strain the public finances, which are already on course to be £13bn worse off in this financial year than forecast. ...
Universities minister announces sale of student loan book image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 6th of February 2017 03:28:59 PM
.... It is the first of a four-year programme of sales of loans issued before 2012, when university tuition fees were raised to £9,000. Announcing the start of the process in a written statement to parliament on Monday, Johnson said: “This government is committed to bringing public finances under control and returning the budget to balance. ...
Will Brexit be a success? Academics devise tests to find out image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 30th of January 2017 01:00:44 PM
....The four tests set out on Monday were:. • The economy and public finances: A successful Brexit will make the country more prosperous overall and will “improve its ability to finance public services”, the report said. ...
Brexit economy: weak pound stokes inflation as jobs market cools image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 25th of January 2017 11:09:22 AM
.... And in a worrying omen for an economy reliant on consumer spending, retail sales fell over the crucial Christmas period. The public finances were in a slightly worse state than expected for December, but revisions to November figures improved the government’s chances of meeting its borrowing target for the full year. ...
UK in 2030: older, more unequal and blighted by Brexit, report predicts image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 29th of December 2016 12:01:49 AM
. Britain faces a decade of disruption after Brexit with low growth, stagnating incomes for the poor and the public finances at breaking point, according to a bleak analysis by a leading thinktank. ...
MPs are right to question Bank of England's monetary policy image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 22nd of December 2016 01:26:00 PM
.... Monetary policy has been hyperactive while fiscal policy – tax and spending – has been sucking demand out of the economy. The theory behind austerity was that monetary stimulus would generate the growth and the tax revenues to enable the government to fix the hole in the public finances. ...
Government borrowing higher than expected in November image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 01:23:07 PM
....Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said the modest improvement on last year was “reassuring for the chancellor”. He said: “This is welcome for Hammond as it would have been somewhat embarrassing if the first set of public finance figures after the November autumn statement had immediately put question marks over his new fiscal targets,” he said. ...
Brexit economy: inflation surge shows impact of vote finally beginning to bite image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 11:36:14 AM
....But the pace of hiring has slowed, retail sales growth has eased off and inflation is at a two-year high as the weak pound raises the cost of imports to the UK. The public finances were in a worse state than forecast in November and, looking ahead, they are expected to be in deficit for far longer than had been predicted before the referendum. ...
Italy approves a €20bn bailout plan for its banks image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 11:31:34 AM
.... . The European Commission said it had "noted" the Italian government's request to the Italian parliament for authorisation to change some public finances targets. ...
Government borrowing falls less than expected in November image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 10:21:45 AM
.... . The public finances last time round (October) were unexpectedly healthy - with the government having to borrow less than expected. ...
FTSE 100 edges higher but Capita leads the fallers image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 09:37:58 AM
UK economy set for sluggish growth, warns business group image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 12th of December 2016 12:01:41 AM
....The BCC said based on the available economic news and its own survey of businesses, it did not expect the economy to fall into a recession – something groups such as the International Monetary Fund had warned was a risk in the event of a vote for Brexit. The BCC is forecasting the public finances will be in worse shape as a result of an economic slowdown hitting tax receipts, undershooting the already downbeat expectations of the fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility . ...
Finance sector 'paid £71.4bn in tax' image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 6th of December 2016 11:36:15 AM
....5% of the UK's total tax receipts. The report highlights the potential hit to public finances if Brexit restricts access to the EU's single market. ...
Opec doesn’t hold all the cards, even after its oil price agreement image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Saturday 3rd of December 2016 04:00:26 PM
.... A history of Opec governments cheating to improve their revenues – by pumping more oil in contravention of production cuts – is also likely to undermine efforts to cut output, they say. Saudi Arabia, which has long been the main producer and most powerful political operator in the Opec cartel, has dug deep into its reserves to make up the shortfall in its public finances following two years of low prices. ...
MP asks spending watchdog to investigate Nissan Brexit deal image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 1st of December 2016 04:21:20 PM
.... Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury select committee, has written to the National Audit Office (NAO) asking for an inquiry into any assurances offered by the government to the Japanese car giant. If follows a refusal by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to say how much the commitments made to Nissan would add to the public finances and will increase pressure on the government to give the details of any deal. ...
Philip Hammond says Nissan deal will create no new liabilities image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 30th of November 2016 06:42:47 PM
....The chancellor said promises made to the Japanese firm avoided weighing down the Treasury with significant extra subsidies in the wake of the Brexit vote. However, in a letter to an influential all-party committee, Hammond refused to say how much the commitments made to Nissan would add to the public finances, saying only that any subsidies were “entirely within state aid and WTO rules”. ...
IFS warns of biggest squeeze on pay for 70 years over Brexit image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 24th of November 2016 01:26:14 PM
....“Overall, despite some of the headlines, I think we can count the OBR as having been modestly upbeat relative to some other forecasters,” said Johnson. “Even so, the outlook for living standards and for the public finances has deteriorated pretty sharply over the last nine months. ...

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