Office of Budget Responsibility

Here’s another example of the OBR shrugging its shoulders at coalition policy.

The Office of Budget Responsibility reviews the Lib Dem-backed crackdown on tax avoidance and concludes that it will have no impact on compliance ratesRead more

The Office of Budget Responsibility faces a big credibility test today. Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor, has an agenda-setting story that raises doubts over its very purpose and independence. It is far more significant than any speculation over Sir Alan Budd’s departure.

Through persistent questioning, Chris uncovered that the OBR tweaked its Budget forecasts at the last-minute to erase around 175,000 public sector job losses by 2014/15. Read more

There seems to be a growing appetite to cut the cost of public sector pensions. A year ago, it was basically off the cards — no party would have dared take the political risk. But the coalition are now slowly making the case. There is a strong chance of a levy being imposed, if the government holds its nerve.

The stats in the OBR report today, which for the first time breaks out the annual cost of public sector pensions until 2015, are genuinely concerning. Read more

Been out of the office this morning, so afraid I’m coming a bit late to the OBR report. But one conclusion that leaps out is on immigration. Sir Alan Budd finds that:

First the point on the economy. Sir Alan Budd’s report cuts the forecast for “trend growth” from 2.75 per cent to 2 per cent from 2014 onwards, primarily because Britain’s workforce won’t be growing fast enough to sustain it. Read more