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Home Publications Public finance bulletin: March 2014

Public finance bulletin: March 2014

Rowena Crawford, Carl Emmerson and Soumaya Keynes
Public finance press release
Today the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury published Public Sector Finances February 2014. We now have details of central government receipts, central government spending, public sector net investment, borrowing and debt for the first eleven months of financial year 2013−14.

The figures shown in the table illustrate how receipts and spending in February 2014, and over the eleven months April 2013 to February 2014, compare to receipts and spending over the same period in 2012–13. These are also compared to the growth for the year as a whole forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in their March 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, which was published on Wednesday. The final column of the table illustrates how much higher/lower spending and receipts in March 2014 would need to be than they were in March 2013 in order for the OBR forecasts for the year as a whole to prove correct – assuming there are no revisions to earlier months’ data.

Table: Receipts and spending in 2013–14 compared to 2012–13

  % change on previous year
  February April to February Full year forecast: Budget 2014 Implied March
Central government current receiptsa 4.9 3.5 3.8 6.8
of which:        
Accrued income tax, capital gains tax and NICs 2.7 3.0 2.5 -2.7
Accrued VAT 5.6 5.2 5.3b 6.3b
Cash Corporation tax 7.3 -0.9 -0.9 -0.7
Central government current spending 7.6 1.8 1.7 0.6
of which:        
Net social benefits 2.5 1.1 1.4 4.9
Debt interest payments -6.7 -0.6 1.8 44.5
Otherc 11.9 2.5 1.9 -4.4
Public sector net investmentd -10.0 28.0 -6.3 -34.0

a Central government current receipts are adjusted for transfers associated with the Asset Purchase Facility.
b Since the March 2014 Budget the OBR has not published a forecast for central government accrued VAT receipts. Therefore this number assumes that the £2.4bn difference between central government accrued VAT and public sector accrued VAT in the Autumn Statement 2013 forecasts for 2012–13 and 2013–14 remain.
c Other central government current spending includes spending by Whitehall departments on the administration and delivery of public services.
d Public sector net investment is adjusted for the effects of the Royal Mail Pension Fund and the receipts from the sale of 4G spectrum licences.