The Chief Secretary to the Treasury's response to January's public sector finance stats follows.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott (pic) said: "We provided hundreds of billions to pay wages, support business and protect lives during Covid, and to pay half of people’s energy bills after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“But we can’t leave future generations to pick up the tab, which is why we have taken tough decisions to help reduce borrowing versus what the OBR expected in March. While we will not speculate over whether further reductions in tax will be affordable in the Budget, the economy is beginning to turn a corner, with inflation down from over 11% to 4%."

Additional information:  

  • Inflation has fallen from over 11% to 4%, and the Bank of England is forecasting it will fall to around 2% by early summer. Because of our responsible action with the public finances – we were able to afford tax cuts for working people and businesses in the Autumn Statement.
  • In November, the OBR forecast Public Sector Net Borrowing to be £88.9bn lower in 2028-29 compared to 2023-2024. The OBR forecast Public Sector Net Debt excluding the Bank of England would fall to 92.8% of GDP in the fifth year of the forecast (2028-29), meeting the government's fiscal rule. These figures reflect the OBR’s November forecast at Autumn Statement 2023; an updated forecast will be provided as part of Spring Budget 2024 on 6th
  • That’s part of a plan to deliver the long-term change our country needs to deliver a brighter future for Britain, and improve economy security and opportunity for everyone, with the Autumn Statement marking a major moment as we changed gear and focus on how to drive growth in the decade ahead.
  • The Chancellor has made it clear that productivity growth in the public sector needs to improve to stop the state from growing ever-larger as a proportion of the economy in the years ahead, while improving how public services operate.  Cutting waste will allow public servants to get back to what they do best; teaching our children, keeping us safe, and treating us when we’re sick.
  • Public Sector Net Borrowing for the first ten months of the year is £9.2bn lower than the OBR’s November 2023 profile mainly due to debt interest (£8.6bn below OBR) as the inflation has been lower than forecast.