Rishi Sunak “isn’t really levelling with people” about painful cuts that will be needed to repair the public finances, according to budget analysis by a respected economic think-tank. Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director said “Santa Sunak… looks more like Scrooge Sunak” under plans for a squeeze totalling more than £50bn compared to the pre-pandemic outlook. That is the scale of spending cuts and tax rises over coming years compared to what the chancellor outlined in his first budget a year ago – implying a spending outlook that seems “implausibly low”, Mr Johnson said. “The chancellor isn’t really levelling with people about the choices the government is making to repair the public finances,” he added. Mr Johnson characterised the plans outlined by Mr Sunak as a “tale of two budgets” with £65bn more coronavirus-related spending and a “super-deduction” tax break for investment followed by fiscal belt-tightening of £30bn, adding further to a squeeze outlined in November. Advertisement Spending heavily on policies such as furlough and business rates support this year will mean borrowing at historically high levels in the current fiscal year and the next. But the chancellor’s plans, if delivered, put him on course to balance the books by… Read full this story
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