|Date:||21 August 2013|
|Authors:||Rowena Crawford , Soumaya Keynes and Gemma Tetlow|
Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances July 2012. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first four months of financial year 2013–14.
Rowena Crawford, a Senior Research Economist at the IFS, said:
“At first sight, today's figures look disappointing. The Treasury ran a deficit in July this year, whereas they normally run a surplus in this month as a significant chunk of corporation tax payments are made in July. But underlying this headline figure is the continuation of two trends that might not - yet - give us cause for concern.
Receipts of taxes on both corporate and personal income have grown more quickly so far this year than forecast by the OBR for the year as a whole. But we should be cautious of inferring too positive a message from this, as income tax payments are likely to be more front-loaded this year than last as people shifted income to take advantage of the new, lower 45p top rate of income tax and receipts of VAT have grown more sluggishly than forecast for the year as a whole.
On the other hand central government current spending has grown more quickly so far than forecast for the year as a whole. But some of this could be merely differences in the timing of payments this year compared to last, and therefore might unwind later on.”