Tuesday, February 20, 2007
No happy returns
Posted by David Smith at 06:00 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

grumpy gordon.jpg

Here's a link to that Guardian poll, showing a 13-point Tory lead in the event of a Brown-Cameron run-off. Published on Brown's 56th birthday, it won't have made happy reading. There was better news on the public finances. The IFS says he'll meet his golden rule, even though spending is overshooting and revenues undershooting.

The IFS said: “Today’s figures show that the Chancellor is on track to meet his golden rule over a cycle starting in 1997–98 and ending in 2006–07. With just two months to go until the end of the Treasury’s estimate of the cycle, the public sector current budget figures from the year to date indicate that Mr Brown is likely to overshoot his deficit figures for this year slightly, but still meet the golden rule over this cycle.

"While this month’s data show a reasonably strong position for the public sector, central government has not shown the increase in receipts or slowdown in current spending growth necessary for the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report forecasts in these areas to be met. This is due to a combination of weaker-than-expected corporation tax receipts and stronger-than-expected growth in current spending by central government departments on public services. Conversely revisions to estimated public sector net investment since June 2006 suggest that investment spending is likely to come in below the Treasury forecasts.”