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Category Archives: government spending

We’ve just lost £40m – how much was your share?

Incompetent government employees have just cost the UK £40m. That’s quite a bit more than I earn, yet as a taxpayer I have had to contribute to this waste of money. This is because of mistakes made in awarding the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to First Group, rather than the incumbents, Virgin Trains. Our new Transport Secretary, Patrick … Continue reading

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Government borrowing continues to fall

Government borrowing in December fell by £2.2bn from £15.9bn in December 2010 to £13.7bn. This means that borrowing has now fallen for four consecutive months. The figures for the last financial year together with the current financial year are shown below. These are shown using the so-called “ex-measures” which exclude the temporary effects of financial interventions. Cumulative public sector net … Continue reading

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Highest August borrowing figure on record

UK Public Sector Net Borrowing (PSNB) in August was a surprise £15.9 billion. This was a rise of £1.9 billion on August last year and was the highest August total on record, and well above the market forecasts of just over £13 billion. So far this fiscal year, between April and August, total PSNB has totalled £51.5 billion. This is … Continue reading

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A neutral Budget with a few surprises

George Osborne, the chancellor, introduced his second Budget yesterday saying: “This is not a tax-raising Budget, nor can we afford a give-away.”  Basically, he was completely constrained by the emergency Budget last year and the October Spending Review. He was further handicapped by a downgrade in the forecasts for economic growth, coming from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Only five … Continue reading

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UK austerity measures “unsustainable” says George Soros

George Soros, the billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, gave his views on the UK’s economic policy at the World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland yesterday. He is quoted as saying that although he thought the UK government was right to start making cuts he also thought the plans would have to be modified. He said: “I don’t think … Continue reading

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Public sector finances still on track?

October’s public borrowing was worse than analysts had been expecting, but it is still possible that the government is on target to produce a budget deficit of £149bn, compared to £155bn in the previous financial year. The borrowing figure for October was £10.3bn, which was up from the £10.1bn of the previous year, but was the first time for five … Continue reading

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So where are we now?

The dust has started to settle after the draconian cuts put forward by the Chancellor, George Osborne, last week, as he put forward plans to cut government spending by £81 billion over the next four years. Was he right to make cuts of this magnitude? The UK borrowing figures last week might suggest that he was. The figures show that … Continue reading

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Unemployment – the lull before the storm

Good news on the unemployment front – or is it? Latest figures from the ONS today show that in the three months to August 2010 the number of unemployed fell by 20,000, to reach 2.45 million. This gives an unemployment rate of 7.7%, which is down 0.1% over the quarter. Male unemployment fell by 56,000 on the quarter, but female … Continue reading

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Tough but fair! Really?

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced a major welfare reform. From 2013, higher rate taxpayers will no longer be eligible for child benefit. Guessing that it is now too late to return the children, 1.2 million families will be hit in their piggy banks. Those who will lose out are couples where at least one parent earns … Continue reading

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Record public sector borrowing in August

Public sector borrowing reached £15.9bn in August, which was a record figure for the month. This compares with £14.1bn in the same month last year. The current budget deficit which shows the difference between government spending and income rose by £2.3bn to £13.3bn. This is not very good news on the surface, and gives added reason to the chancellor to … Continue reading

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