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Deficit

Nurses of Whipps Cross Hospital, in London, singing Christmas carols to a patient in December 1952 (Photo: Monty Fresco/Getty Images)

How do you solve a problem like the NHS? The Spectator asks the experts

30 October 2014 12:14

So ingrained is the NHS as part of British life that it’s hard to imagine it disappearing. But it can’t go on as it is: its budget is being squeezed… Continue reading

19 Comments
London, May 2011 (Photo: AFP)

How to defuse Britain’s £1.45 trillion public-debt time-bomb

29 October 2014 10:13

Last week’s public-finance statistics were truly dreadful. They showed that despite a year of fairly robust economic growth, UK government borrowing since the start of the financial year 2014 to… Continue reading

97 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

‘Unfunded tax cuts’: a verbal disease from America

7 October 2014 19:54

The notion of ‘unfunded tax cuts’ seems set to be a central theme in next year’s election. David Cameron’s promise last week to raise the income threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate has… Continue reading

88 Comments
Danny Alexander's call for the abolition of higher-rate relief on pension contributions has received the backing of the Centre for Policy Studies. Picture: Getty

Danny Alexander indicates that the Lib Dems wants £5 billion in tax rises

6 October 2014 20:37

In a sign of his enhanced status in the party, Danny Alexander has been one of the main attractions on the conference fringe this year. This evening, it was standing… Continue reading

90 Comments
Image: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The deficit and immigration: were there two worse topics for Ed Miliband to forget?

23 September 2014 22:35

No notes speech have been Ed Miliband’s political party trick. His One Nation speech two years ago ended speculation about his leadership and last year’s energy price freeze effort knocked… Continue reading

129 Comments
Consumers Feel The Pinch With Christmas Around The Corner

Government borrowing is up – the economic picture isn’t as rosy as the Tories say

20 June 2014 12:35

It’s tempting given the optimistic mood on the Conservative benches at the moment to think that everything is just great with the economy. Not so, according to today’s borrowing figures… Continue reading

42 Comments
Alistair Darling Poses Before Leaving To Give His First Budget Speech

Tax Freedom Day is a reminder of the choice in 2015: high tax Labour, low tax Conservatives

28 May 2014 14:02

Tax Freedom Day, which falls today, is cause for celebration. It marks the point in the calendar when someone’s income stops paying for their tax bill and they start keeping… Continue reading

53 Comments
Image: Getty

Public borrowing and a target George Osborne might actually meet

22 October 2013 13:14

Some of George Osborne’s targets – like balancing the books – are always five years away; he never has to meet them to claim success, as long as he plans… Continue reading

41 Comments
The-Osborne-Austerity1

Borrowing figures and what really keeps politicians awake at night

21 June 2013 17:32

There was a moment in the last Budget statement where George Osborne revealed that the deficit was – just – lower in the year to April 2012 than the previous… Continue reading

27 Comments
The Osborne Austerity

Deficit falls by 0.3%… maybe

23 April 2013 10:04

George Osborne will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning. The boast he made in his Autumn Statement in December — ‘the deficit is coming down this year, and… Continue reading

28 Comments
Fitch's downgrading of the UK's credit rating isn't as explosive for George Osborne as the first announcement in February, but it's still annoying. Picture: Getty

Fitch downgrades UK credit rating

19 April 2013 17:54

Fitch’s announcement that it is downgrading the UK’s credit rating to AA+ isn’t as politically explosive as the downgrade from Moody’s in February, as it was inevitable that once one… Continue reading

38 Comments
Graphic: Carla Millar

Deficit latest: Still £5 billion higher than last year

21 February 2013 12:51

Today’s borrowing figures show that the government had a surplus of £11.4 billion in January. But before we get too excited, a bit of context is in order. There’s (almost)… Continue reading

47 Comments
Debt 2000-2018

David Cameron rebuked for telling porkies about the national debt

1 February 2013 14:16

Where was Andrew Dilnot in the Gordon Brown era? The head of the UK Statistics Authority has just rebuked the Prime Minister for telling porkies about debt on his ITV… Continue reading

60 Comments
The Osborne austerity has meant core spending cut by just 3pc over 3 years. Debt is soaring - and voters who wanted him to fix all this will be deeply unimpressed in 2015.

Austerity latest: spending up, deficit up.

22 January 2013 12:47

We can all overdo it a little at Christmas, but the government’s monthly overdraft statement — which came in this morning — is of a different order. In December, HM… Continue reading

62 Comments
Picture: Getty Images

The Autumn Statement in 7 graphs

6 December 2012 18:18

1. Growth evaporating. The Office for Budget Responsibility once again downgraded its growth forecasts for 2012-13 and, for the first time, also did so for 2014-16. Despite that, the OBR… Continue reading

25 Comments
Can Nick Clegg persuade the public to give him a hearing? Picture: Getty Images

Lies, damn lies, Nick Clegg and debt

4 December 2012 17:05

Is Nick Clegg lying about what he’s doing to our national debt? The L-word is seldom used in politics, and in spite of their reputation most politicians try to get… Continue reading

66 Comments
The Osborne austerity has meant core spending cut by just 3pc over 3 years. Debt is soaring - and voters who wanted him to fix all this will be deeply unimpressed in 2015.

Autumn Statement: Downgrades R Us

4 December 2012 13:45

How much trouble is George Osborne in? We don’t need to wait until his mini-Budget tomorrow, we already know most of it. And we’ll enter that peculiar Budget game, where… Continue reading

15 Comments
The IFS says George Osborne must not use the QE transfer to claim he's meeting his debt target. Graphic: Carla Millar

IFS warns Osborne: don’t cook the books, like Brown

26 November 2012 12:19

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has today published its attempt to predict what the OBR forecasts will show when they’re released as George Osborne sits down after delivering his Autumn… Continue reading

26 Comments
Osborne might avoid missing his debt target at the Autumn Statement, but not because the economic outlook is brighter. Picture: Getty Images

George Osborne might meet his debt target after all

23 November 2012 18:08

When George Osborne gives his Autumn Statement on 5 December, the OBR will publish its new forecasts for growth, deficit and debt. For the last few weeks, the consensus has… Continue reading

26 Comments
The Osborne austerity has meant core spending cut by just 3pc over 3 years. Debt is soaring - and voters who wanted him to fix all this will be deeply unimpressed in 2015.

Labour underestimated Osborne’s deficit

22 November 2012 14:58

As Fraser reported at the time, Labour put up a deficit clock on its website last month, claiming that the government was borrowing £277 million more during Tory conference than… Continue reading

40 Comments
Danny Alexander turned up the pressure on Alex Salmond

Danny Alexander: We’d do it all over again

28 October 2012 11:59

Danny Alexander told Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics that even if he had known the economy would only grow by 0.6% rather than the five and a half percent… Continue reading

35 Comments
Ed Balls has no choice but to defend his economic record of the past. Photo: Getty Images.

Can Ed Balls leave his past behind?

25 October 2012 20:24

A large part of the Tory message at the next election will be ‘don’t let Labour ruin the economy again’. One of the things that will help the Tories make… Continue reading

83 Comments
Ed Balls knows a thing or two about peddling myths

Ed Balls tells porkies about the deficit

25 October 2012 14:37

Ed Balls has just been given a thorough grilling by Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics — particularly on his past assertions that Labour were not running a structural deficit… Continue reading

46 Comments
The IMF has cast more doubt on George Osborne's ability to meet his debt target. Picture: Getty Images

IMF: Anatomy of a downgrade

9 October 2012 16:09

Growth forecast downgrades should come as no surprise these days, but when they come from the IMF they naturally command a fair bit of attention. In fact, the IMF’s downgrades… Continue reading

11 Comments
Ed Miliband at the Labour Party conference. Picture: Getty Images

Labour to launch a deficit clock for Tory conference

5 October 2012 14:09

Things have come to a pretty pass when the Labour Party is launching a campaign with a deficit clock to expose George Osborne’s shortcomings. But they are about to do… Continue reading

108 Comments