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Social housing decision increases public sector net debt

The Office for National Statistics has announced today that “private registered providers” of social housing in England will be reclassified from the private to the public sector in the National Accounts. This includes most housing associations and some for-profit housing bodies. As a result, the outstanding debt of these bodies will be included in the […]

Forecast evaluation report 2015

This year’s Forecast evaluation report looks at the latest data for 2014-15 – five years on from our first forecast in June 2010. Lower-than-expected nominal GDP growth explains much of the error in our borrowing forecast from then, but receipts were weaker still. As a result, our borrowing forecast was £60 billion too optimistic, but more recent […]

Robert Chote reappointment confirmed

The Chancellor nominated Robert Chote to serve a second and final term as Chair of the OBR. The Treasury Select Committee approved the re-appointment on 15 September 2015, saying that they were “satisfied that Robert Chote has the professional competence and personal independence to be reappointed as Chair of the OBR. His work over the last […]

Government recommends boost to OBR capacity

A Treasury review has concluded that the OBR is a “respected and successful” organisation five years after its creation. It recommends boosting the OBR’s current capacity and a new publication on fiscal risks, but rejects extending its remit to manifesto costings and distributional analysis. Read the HM Treasury Review of the OBR on GOV.UK The […]

Economic and fiscal outlook July 2015

Our latest economic and fiscal forecast shows how the new Government has used its first Budget to loosen significantly the impending squeeze on public services spending that had been pencilled in by the Coalition in March. This is being financed by welfare cuts, net tax increases and three years of higher government borrowing. The Government has delayed […]

Annual report and accounts 2014-15

Our Annual report and accounts for the year ending 31 March 2015 was laid in Parliament on 16 July 2015. The Annual report sets out details of the structure and staffing of the OBR, alongside audited financial accounts.

Lord Burns re-appointment

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that Lord Burns has been re-appointed as a non-executive member of the OBR. Read the HM Treasury press release here

Fiscal sustainability report 2015

Our fifth Fiscal sustainability report shows that further tax increases or spending cuts are likely to be needed after the current fiscal consolidation to help meet the costs of an ageing population. The full report and accompanying documents can be found on the main FSR page.

Welfare trends report 2015

Our second Welfare trends report looks back at how our conclusions from last year’s report informed our most recent forecast for welfare spending. We also draw on international data to compare total spending allocated to social protection in the UK to that in other countries. The full report and accompanying documents can be accessed here Welfare […]

Summer Budget and Economic and fiscal outlook

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that there will be a Summer Budget on Wednesday 8 July 2015. We will publish an updated forecast for the economy and public finances in our Economic and fiscal outlook alongside the statement. Reflecting this change to our usual timetable, we will publish abbreviated editions of our Fiscal sustainability and […]

March 2015 Economic and fiscal outlook

The Government’s policy decisions in Budget 2015 have led us to revise down our deficit forecasts, to expect the debt-to-GDP ratio to fall a year earlier and to revise up public spending as a share of GDP in five years’ time. Our forecast implies the Government is on track to meet its new fiscal mandate […]

The OBR’s expert advisory panel

The Office for Budget Responsibility established an advisory panel of leading economic and fiscal experts in 2011 to help develop and scrutinise its work programme and methods. The panel reflects our determination to ensure that our work is of the highest analytical quality. Since the establishment of the panel we have held annual meetings in […]

December 2014 Economic and fiscal outlook

Despite stronger growth, we revised up our estimate of the budget deficit for this financial year in our latest forecast. But the budget is still forecast to be back in balance by 2018-19. The Government is on track to meet its fiscal mandate and the welfare cap, but not its supplementary debt target. The main Economic […]

Exchange of letters between Lord Burns, Robert Chote and the Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury

Lord Burns, Chair of the OBR’s Oversight Board wrote to Robert Chote and Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury asking them to comment on the recommendations made by the first External Review into the OBR.  These letters, and the subsequent replies, are published below.

Exchange of letters between Robert Chote and Alyson Stafford, Scottish Government

Robert Chote has exchanged letters with Alyson Stafford, Director-General Finance, Scottish Government on the subject of forecasting the Scottish land and buildings transactions tax and the Scottish landfill tax over our 5-year forecast horizon.

Exchange of letters between Vince Cable and Robert Chote

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Robert Chote have exchanged letters on the issue of the Government’s total spending assumption for the period from 2016-17 onwards on which the OBR’s economic and fiscal forecasts are based.  

Supplementary forecast information release

Following a request for information from our March 2014 Economic and fiscal outlook, we have published the quarterly profile for our residential property transactions forecast.

First Welfare trends report published

Our first Welfare trends report looks back at the past three decades of welfare spending and forward to prospects over the coming five years. We consider the key risks to our forecast for welfare spending, both inside and outside the Government’s ‘welfare cap’. Supporting documents can be accessed via the main Welfare trends report page […]

Forecast evaluation report – October 2014

Our latest Forecast evaluation report focuses on developments in 2013-14, a year that saw growth pick up strongly and the budget deficit narrow further. In particular, we consider why it was that we under-estimated the pick-up in growth from early 2013, but why did the budget deficit not fall more rapidly as a consequence. We […]

Working paper No 7: Crisis and consolidation in the public finances

Our 7th Working Paper explains the evolution of the public finances from the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2007-08 to the end of our forecast in 2018-19. This period saw the largest peacetime shock to the public finances in living memory, and ends with one of the biggest deficit reduction programmes seen in […]

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