Brexit casts its shadow over budgets

By Michael Burton | 08 October 2019

The much-quoted Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is respected for its independent scrutiny of the public finances but even its greatest admirers will admit it is not known for its rosy forecasts.

Its latest Green Budget, produced annually before the real Budget, does not buck the trend. It predicts the deficit will bust the Government’s 2% fiscal target next year and total public sector debt is at an historic high, that even a benign no-deal Brexit will double the deficit to 4%, and that this fails to include extra health and care costs (estimated to be an extra 2% of GDP every decade).

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