Which bits of the state do you plan to close, minister?

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

The Chancellor tried his best to put a positive spin on the Autumn Statement but any optimism was snuffed out by the IFS yesterday. Here’s IFS Director Paul Johnson:

Some of yesterday’s biggest announcements were not from the Chancellor at all, they were from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

A polite way of saying don’t bother listening to George, just wait for the OBR figures to see what’s really going on.

Robert Chote and his team announced two big changes to the public finances. The first was a really substantial downgrade to expected tax revenues. It’s the fall in expected revenues of nearly £8 billion this year which accounts for the disappointing fall in the size of the deficit. Look out just three years to 2017-18 and the shortfall hits £21 billion. This lack of buoyancy in tax revenues, associated with poor earnings growth, looks like being a continued cause for…

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