In a week dominated by Brexit and Trump, two dry reports about the UK’s public finances are unlikely to receive a lot of press coverage. But they pose a challenge to government that will endure long after Brexit, argues Martin Wheatley.
Unless it raises taxes or loosens its borrowing rules, the Government will have to cut spending on other public services by nearly 4% to pay for the recently announced NHS ‘birthday present’, warns Gemma Tetlow.
More than a third of the Government’s major projects look unlikely to be delivered on time and on budget. Aron Cheung says that with Brexit sure to impose further obligations, ministers should be realistic about their ambitions.
Gemma Tetlow argues that separating news of spending largesse from any serious attempt to explain where the money will come from makes it harder to make the case for necessary tax rises – or looser fiscal targets.