The first minister of Wales has issued a stark warning of painful financial decisions to come ahead of George Osborne’s spending review at the end of next month.
According to the latest ONS borrowing figures, the deficit for April was £6.3bn, around £2bn lower than expected. Public sector net borrowing for the previous year (2012/13) was revised down from £120.6bn to £119.5bn (compared to a deficit of £120.9bn in 2011/12).
Having gained notoriety for his bizarre lifestyle, Michael Philpott caused outrage after he was found to have caused the deaths of six of his children in a fire which he started deliberately.
Memorably, the case was jumped on by the right-wing press as “a vile product of welfare UK”. George Osborne even chipped in, saying it raised important welfare “questions”.
The UK is experiencing a slower economic recovery than 23 of the 33 advanced economies monitored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is lagging behind all but one G7 country on exports, wage growth and manufacturing, according to new analysis published today by the TUC.
In the next few days, and for the first time in human history, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will hit 400 parts per million (ppm), a level long seen as critical in measuring the damage done to the earth by man-made pollution.
George Osborne fails on his own terms.
As Ed Conway has noticed, if you exclude the effects of either Northern Rock asset reclassification or the profits of the SLS from today’s public sector borrowing figures, the deficit was actually higher this year than last.
Economic data is coming thick and fast. Sandwiched between last week’s poor unemployment data and Thursday’s forthcoming results for GDP in the first quarter of the year, public finance figures were published today. They show that George Osborne has dodged a bullet.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut the UK’s growth forecast more than any other major economy and called for the government to spend more to stimulate growth.
The graph below, produce by Canadian-based bank Scotiabank, shows the evolving nature of GDP forecasts as applied to the UK economy.
As we can see, this is the third consecutive year where the consensus for growth has started out at around 2 per cent before gradually being pushed down towards zero as time has passed.