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Budget 2016: a get out of jail free card?

  • Disappointment as OBR borrowing forecasts increase by £56.3 billion over spending review period.

  • Budget measures mitigate worsening forecasts, but chances of a budget surplus in 2019-20 are just over 50%.

  • ISA reforms have effectively replaced personal pensions for the under 40s.

  • Concerns that sugar levy will disproportionally hit the poorest income households.

  • Modest unspecified £3.5bn cuts dwarf additional borrowing announced in the Autumn Statement. More measures may be required to meet budget surplus.

  • Chancellor still has a number of get of jail free cards. For example, abolishing NICs relief on employer pension contributions could save Chancellor £8 billion a year. 

Daniel Mahoney & Tim Knox - Friday 18th March 2016

Daniel joined the Centre for Policy Studies as Head of Economic Research in November 2015. He was promoted to Deputy Director in March 2017. Prior to joining the CPS, he worked in research roles for a number of parliamentarians.

Tim Knox was Director of the CPS from 2011-2017. Before he was Director, Tim was the Editor at the CPS - a position in which he was responsible for publishing papers by every Conservative leader since Mrs Thatcher as well as by hundreds of leading academics and opinion formers.