Responding to today’s Autumn Statement, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“The Chancellor has basically stuck to his spending plans, but not to his deficit plans. Low growth and weak tax revenues demanded that he made greater reductions in spending today. His plan is now to add around £6,000 to the national debt for every man, woman and child in the UK between 2013 and 2018. By the end of this Parliament this will mean the UK’s national debt is close to £65,000 per household.
“It’s clear the government is still failing to take the necessary action to restore economic credibility. It’s all very well acknowledging the need to get public spending under control, but it requires substantial reform.
“Limiting benefit rises to 1%, scrapping the planned fuel duty increase, devolving power over teacher pay to schools and cutting corporation tax are steps in the right direction. But they are tiny, tinkering measures – not radical reforms.
“The Chancellor is now relying very heavily on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s growth forecasts being accurate. They now project that the UK economy will grow by 11.5% by 2018. But to date, the OBR have taken too rosy a view. If