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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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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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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Record UK trade gap

The deficit on trade in goods widened to £8.7bn in July, which is the biggest monthly figure since this current series of measurement began in 1998. This deficit compares with one of £7.5bn in June according to figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics. The UK’s balance of trade on goods and services also widened from £3.6bn in … Continue reading

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Government spending and crowding out

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the US has just revised a forecast it made for the effect of the government deficit and debt on the crowding out of investment. They were taken to task for figures which seemed to overstate the relationship, which had given ammunition to some commentators who are in favour of severe cutbacks in government expenditure. … Continue reading

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Have UK exports “hit the wall”?

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services widened to £3.8bn in May, compared to a deficit of £3.5bn in April. This is the worst balance of trade deficit for two years. These figures were published by the ONS today. The surplus on trade in services was £4.2bn in May, up from the £3.9bn recorded in April. On the … Continue reading

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Some good news from the manufacturing sector

Car production rose by 54% in May to 104,365 vehicles, and was up 62.6% over the year-to-date, according to figures released by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). They also announced that the production of commercial vehicles also rose by an incredible 129% in May compared to the same month last year to 10,745, and was up 55.7% … Continue reading

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UK growth forecast lowered

The new, independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) believes that UK growth will be lower than previously forecast by the last Labour government. It projects that UK GDP growth will be 1.3% this year, and 2.6% next year. This compares with the previous government’s forecast for 2010 of 3.25%.  The OBR also forecasts growth of 2.8% in both 2012 and … Continue reading

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