In response to the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:
“The chancellor’s priorities of stability, growth and public services were a clear signal to the markets and his own party that the fiscal strategy pursued by the previous chancellor and prime minister has been scrapped. Today was about restoring balance and repairing the damage done two months ago.
“By balancing spending restraint with increased tax revenue, public services will bear less of the burden of closing the fiscal gap, but continuing high inflation means they still face some very difficult short and medium-term challenges. Resources announced for NHS England are well below wage and cost inflation, for example.
“Today’s statement is a course correction. It is a welcome step towards improving stability in public finances, and it's good to see that underlying structural problems to revive economic growth will be supported by infrastructure investment. However, paying down debt and some of the more difficult choices have been kicked further down the road to the other side of an election. We have an economy now officially in recession, a sticking-plaster approach to funding for public services and workforce shortages. Solutions to these problems remain elusive.”