|Date:||19 September 2017|
Sir, The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the outlook for the UK economy and the public finances; these forecasts have been adopted by the chancellor as the government’s own. They contain an allowance of almost £250 million per week — not £350 million — for funding that could in principle go to the NHS rather than the EU. But this would involve no state support for any other activities, such as subsidies for agriculture, that are at present funded in the UK by the EU.
The bigger picture is that the forecast health of the public finances was downgraded by £15 billion per year — or almost £300 million per week — as a direct result of the Brexit vote. Not only will we not regain control of £350 million weekly as a result of Brexit, we are likely to make a net fiscal loss from it. Those are the numbers and forecasts which the government has adopted. It is perhaps surprising that members of the government are suggesting rather different figures.
Deputy director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
This letter to the editor was first published by The Times and is reproduced here in full with permission.