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Has anybody noticed that the big giveaways in George Osborne’s spending review and Autumn Statement are based on an imagined increase in funds of £27 billion according to claims by the Office for Budget Responsibility?

This is the organisation that has been wrong in just about every prediction it has made.

Look at its predictions for the deficit:

OBRborrowingforecasts

And these were made as long ago as 2012!

Osborne’s plan is also based on a claim that the government will be more efficient at collecting taxes – after announcing that plans to combat tax avoidance have been shelved due to “complexity“. Much of this is due to ‘modeling’ changes – alterations in the way the organisation calculates the amount likely to be collected – rather than any surprise increase.

The OBR (again) reckons that tax income will increase by £15 billion, by the end of the current Parliament.

taxprediction

So he has no solid evidence that borrowing will come down as expected, and has put in place no measures to ensure he’ll collect the extra taxes he needs.

On second thoughts, he’s not on shifting sands – he has put us all in quicksand.

ADDITIONAL: Apparently the OBR reckons the measures Osborne has announced today (November 25) will increase the tax take by £28.5 billion by 2020-21. This consists of the new apprenticeship levy (£11.6 billion), higher council tax (£6.2 billion), and the introduction of higher rates of stamp duty land tax for second homes and buy-to-let purchases (£3.8 billion). It’s a major hit for businesses. Are we sure they’ll put up with it?

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